I have always enjoyed solving problems. This desire has led to two diverse careers, one in mental health and the other in art. Early in my art career I made a conscious effort to separate my art from my mental health career. But as I have matured as an artist I have come to accept, understand and explore the impact that my background in mental health plays in the subject matter, and the type of art I make. How I see as an artist has been shaped to a large degree by my experiences in the field of psychology.
I am attracted to objects, the artifacts of daily living, the things that people discard, overlook or are taken for granted. Objects for me are broken down into two groups. The first group consists of objects that I need to finish a particular project. The second, and ultimately the more important group, is composed of random objects that I come across while searching flea markets and junk stores. It is not always clear to me why I find this second group interesting; they just call to me. An interesting thing happens to objects in group two; they compel me to think about them and in doing so serve as catalyst for new projects and greater insight.
I grew up in a house full of stuff; both of my parents are collectors. My father had his tightly defined areas of interest, while my mother was more eclectic in what interested her. She has always been a veracious collector. I see my art as having facets from both my parents. There is a degree of being obsessed with meticulous details and focused on finding exactly what I need for a specific piece, but at the same time I am open to seeing new objects, without a clear idea of why I am attracted to them or how they will fit in. It is this why I then explore and try to understand, and, in so doing, feel I understand a little more about myself. The process of art making is as important to me as the final piece. I think that is why I work in series of images or grouping of objects. A single image or element does not have the depth by itself to convey what I want to say.
My art career began with photography, using the camera as a tool to connect what I saw in my mind to what I wanted to produce as art. As I grew as an artist, I became more open to, and comfortable with incorporating found images, objects, and text in my art. I integrated these elements slowly into more of my work, producing work that looked more and more like mixed media pieces and installations and less like photography. The photographed image has now become part of a much larger palette of materials used when working on my art. Recent work has included found x-ray, vintage 35 mm black and white movie film; hack saw blades, text, Braille and Morse code.
A final important element taken from my background in psychology is the belief that viewing art is equivalent to therapy. The viewer is as equal a partner in the viewing of my art as if they had been a client of mine. Through my use of materials, I challenge the viewer to commit the time and energy it takes to read or decipher an element to under-stand the full meaning of a piece.
Although I continually incorporate new materials in my art, I remain focused on working with issues of identity, the meaning of groups and otherness.