Fellowships 2015

In my work I address historical events and locations examining the ways that humanity is informed by the subjectivity of recorded history. These themes are emulated in my artistic practice, which combines elements of film, video, technology, painting, and the impression of the written word.

I confront difficult histories such as a 19th-century massacre of Chinese laborers on a shore of the Snake River, the battlefields of the American Indian, or the impact of the Hanford Reach on the Columbia River. I believe that the traditional language of their historical telling is inadequate because written history lacks specific symbols and metaphors that confront issues of being human. I find that art brings me into a deeper understanding of myself and the world I live in.

In order to create the art works for this understanding, I use a visual language of reflection and illumination using the metaphors of layering, sanding, and engraving with paint. It is an attempt to add meaning to a sense of place through material choices: mirror, glass, reflection, time, oil, and pigment. This follows in the tradition of oil painters through Western history who were tied directly to the practice and belief in alchemy and its symbolic pathway to something other than our selves.

The pieces function both physically and metaphorically to illuminate history through a double reflection-the symbolic reflection on historical time present in the layered, ghostly images which are simultaneously mirrored in the literal reflection of a viewer’s own face as their gaze finds their own reflection in the mirror-backed surfaces. The images work to create a language that leads the viewer to introspection about time and history and their place in it. My work continues to pursue the space between the written and unwritten, the seen and unseen, belief and non-belief. I believe that art is the best possible process to find that space and give it a form.