As an artist I am drawn to both the physical and visual experience in nature, such as when I am on an outdoor journey like hiking. During that course, elements and aspects of the landscape begin to stand out and start forming narratives in my mind. I find this experiential environment compelling. These sculptural works are my reinterpretation of the natural landscape by use of clay, reed, and branches. This is accomplished by taking the traditional methods and techniques of ceramics and basket weaving as my foundation before applying my artistic process to navigate to the final forms.
Growing as a sculptural artist one of my main goals is the activation space in ways that are compelling and enticing. The work that I make engages and envelops the branch. This method conforms to the established flow in a way that mimics hives or nests of different animals who use branches in an intimate way. Like those animals that depend on the structure of the branch and the materials harvested, I too depend on the materials to carry out my goal.
I have found within the process and techniques of ceramics and basket weaving there are more similarities than there are differences. Both require moisture in order to be manipulated, but also need heat in order to be dried before use. There is a considerable amount of time spent understanding how the organic material responds to touch. The movements of the hand during a ceramic technique mimic the movements of weaving in certain ways: from twisting and coiling, to packing and compressing. Through these connections, I seek to understand the relationship of materials as they interact with one another, how that final form may act as a guide, and inviting the viewer on their own visual journey of what they may think can be found within the natural landscape.
The work not only contains natural materials that are “refined” but also directly from nature. Harvesting materials, such as Crape Myrtle branches, is part of my practice. I collect these materials as I am going about my day and when I have a designated time for gathering. I choose this process because of the availability, affordability, and the time I can give to harvest the materials. The branches I collect are chosen based on gesture and how I can visualize the possibilities it offers through its organic composition. Harvesting these found objects allows them to bring me closer to those experiences in nature and fuse them into my work.