I also want to thank the people who have continuously supported my work through their hard work and volunteerism, Scott Henderson (ADI Studio), has done the photography and installation for most of my shows through out the past seven years. Terri Wunderlich, for child care and installation, Jocelyn Moore, and Greg Acker (boats).
My desire to depict my natural surroundings in a gallery setting goes back ten years ago when I did a class with Judi Chicago. In one of her lectures, Chicago talked about how we live in a male-dominated Western society that places priority on technology and building over being good stewards to our natural environment. She viewed this as an imbalance in power between men and women –men being associated with technology and building, women being associated with nature. As a Women Studies minor/Fiber Arts major, her words and ideas left a strong impression on me and my work, which have included themes in feminism, the natural landscape, and processes often associated with women.
In late 2009, after taking a year and half break from working in my studio I wanted to revisit ideas from my first show at Zephyr, Costumes and Vessels that included an installation of stalactite/stalagmite vessels. At the time I was still hung up on the idea of vessels, womb/women, as a form to depict the natural world, but was no longer interested in generalized landscape images. I was nurturing a desire to create a whole environment that would convey my own fantastic impressions, overwhelming feelings of comfort and importance about the specific natural landscape surrounding Louisville. So in January of 2010 I created the Ohio River Rising on a Tree Line pieces (upstairs) and applied for a residency at The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. I was interested in the residency because of it’s proximity to the Ohio River and wanted a supporting environment to work out my ideas. Early in my five month stay at the museum, I attended a lecture by Judy Pfaff, which inspired me to make the full commitment to doing an installation that transformed my whole environment, not just dabbled.
During my residency, Todd Smith had visited my studio, I had wanted him to see the work because his work is closely tied to nature and specifically trees. Later, after I moved back into my home studio, Todd had asked me to view one of his pieces he had done focused on the flooding of the Ohio River. When an opportunity for us to show at Zephyr came up, I approached him about doing a conceptual collaboration on visually depicting a long-term flooding of the Ohio in the gallery space. We talked about how the downstairs would describe the results of an event causing the river to stay flooded, (what my work was evolving into) and the upstairs would describe how humans had evolved into living in trees again. From that point our beginning concepts have evolved independent of each other. Although I’ve stayed with our original concept, for my installation portion I became less concerned about just showing a flooded room and more concerned with transforming a whole environment that conveys the fantastical and sometimes close feelings I have revisiting the natural landscape in our area.Haunt opens Friday, April 1, 2011, 6-9pm at Zephyr Gallery, 610 East Market Street. Gallery Hours are 11am-6pm, Wed-Sat. Artist Talk and Reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 14, 2011, 6-9pm. Closing Reception is scheduled for Friday, May 6, 2011, 6-9pm.