Having grown up in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, my connection to the large sweeping vistas of rolling green hills and vast domes of sky is engrained in my being. However, my understanding of that land is also influenced by industrial progress and the violent stripping of coal mining and quarries. Alters is an internal exploration of the relationship between the majesty of the land and the stripping of it; the alteration of the earth by humans. It is a devotional undertaking; an investigation of the seeming duality of the present and where our place may be within that sublime context moving forward.
Building on the tradition of sacred altars used throughout human history in a variety of cultures, this series is an offering. Through my paintings, I explore various modes of altering applied pigments with found natural objects and my body – adding, removing, wiping, scratching, and throwing natural matter onto the canvas. I do this as a means of expressing my emotional and metaphysical response to the current liminal space in which we live while considering how we may transcend it. Once the painting is created, I collect natural materials and bring them into the studio in order to begin making sculptural objects that are paired with each painting as offerings to the present. Frames and supports are often built as a sculptural extension of the painting, harking back to altarpieces of the Middle Ages as well as shaped canvases within the tradition of Modern Art. I enjoy playing with the formality of the frame, the barrier; making it a barrier no more.
Together, the painting, sculptural offerings, and the frame combine to form new works which are devout in purpose, yet also serve to raise questions. What is my relationship to Nature? What is your relationship to Nature? What is our relationship to Nature during the present Age of the Anthropocene?