Perhaps because I am a child of revolution and political asylum, my work is driven by existential questions that probe history and culture. It wrestles with the conflicting moral intuitions and intractable violence that mark our age, asking questions that bring hidden material to light. These questions are expressed by the human figure as it twists and turns into suffering and sublimation. I think of the body as the agent, the measure, and the sum of physical and cultural substance. I think this because my own body acts and is acted upon. It senses, remembers, and recounts, fashioning a report on lived experiences, committing memory to art.
I work with a variety of materials in clusters of inquiry, discovering different ways each medium lends its own traits of clarity or impenetrability to my subject. I circle my subject and probe it from many different directions, exploring aspects of the initial physical memory or expression through an array of studio actions– first Doves Blood ink on Okawara, then hair on military netting or embalming spices on graphite, now collage on watercolor and marker.
My models are all survivors of extreme experiences. They have survived war; have killed, or sustained attempts on their own lives. They have overcome rape, incest, beatings.
In The Book of Hours series I appropriate the devotional language of illuminated manuscripts for a secular critique of violence against women. I approach this subject as a survivor, with intense desire to change hearts and minds through my art. At the core of this series is the ritualized act of counting. Counting not prayer beads in a rosary, but female victims in specific townships during set time periods.
Each piece depicts a female dancer whose body wrestles with cultural values prescribed to the genders as it is cut from a Christ or martyred saint. The afflicted female body is also directly referenced by the act of counting.