All must die, without any ifs, ands, or buts. And in those final moments, when the world turns to black and white, the only one responsible for your soul is you. That milky white glowing orb violently trying to fly away is tethered to the grimy, eroding, toxic footsteps left behind.
My sculptural assemblages and installations investigate Biblical texts relationship with cultural and geographical landscapes of the Southeastern United States. I examine the core values that shape my identity being raised in a conservative fundamentalist environment, existing in multiple class-statuses; which led to the categorization of too religious or too secular, too poor or too rich. My work is driven by material exploration; integrating artifacts of personal accumulation with materials like paint, craft, and home improvements supplies. Using products that are often associated with and designated as signifiers of class status, I bury them in hyper-treatment. This approach to materials waivers between calculated sensitivity and circumstantial impulse that results in an “overworked” maximal aesthetic.
I treat ideas and influences in the same way that I do materials; extracting and reconfiguring to form new conglomerations that derive from the literal and symbolic combination of burial practices, biblical mythology, anthropic anxiety, southern provisionalism, the Appalachian landscape, and outdated tourist attractions. With the tools of re-interpretation I make my own version of a religion. Just as fundamentalists may interpret text as literal, I do the same with selected information and combine to form new associations.
How is a flea market like a chapel?
I elevate “cheap” synthetic materials to form sculptures reminiscent of religious totems. Using the detritus of contemporary consumption to evoke humor and absurdity, I pose questions about the nature of both the profane and the sacred. Engaging with stories from the past and of the future - where prophecies and current predictions align - I make, in urgency, for the here and now. I may not have gold, silver, and rubies to use in the protection and adornment of my holy conch shell, but I do have gold spray paint, plastic beads, Styrofoam coolers, and chair cushions.
Religion is the intersection between life and death.
My work is not a criticism of specific religious ideologies, but rather an investigation of semblances found throughout humankind’s search for absolution and understanding. It is a declaration of universal empathy. I make from what I know and consider the realms in which I can only imagine.