My current body of work uses landscape as a vehicle for exploring history. My own experiences growing up in the American Midwest have served to inform my studio practice and instill within me an interest in how landscape becomes an important part of our collective experience. Landscape is also unique as a document of change, and therefore, history. American history lies not just in books, but also in the vacant spaces and extent structures that occupy rust belt cities and agricultural fields. My work addresses concerns of history, the psychological implications of the American experience, and our relationship to the landscape. The work ties these concepts together while also providing a visually dense and compelling interpretation of space.
The American landscape is rich with the modern ruins of our collective history. My work references this history through the use of archetypal imagery. The geometry of industry is readily visible throughout the work, and the complexities of the spaces I create reference structures with actual history. These spaces are defined by their function. Some of my influences include barns, factories, mills, and other spaces that are a part of history and are specific to America. Color is a major component of this historical reference as well. My palette is influenced by the historical and contemporary colors found in the spaces I reference. Specific colors such as barn red or tar black are overlaid with brighter colors evocative of graffiti, a common sight on the contemporary American ruin, and in many instances the one element that retains a sliver of life. This contrasts the spent nature of my architectural references.
The placement of the work on the wall at eye level coupled with strong horizontal elements in the composition, allows the viewer to enter into the space of the sculpture, at least psychologically. The works are imposing, towering above the viewer. This placement is about power. Power that these spaces have over us psychologically, and the technological/ financial power that they once represented. These spaces are haunted by the past.
I want my sculptures to question our relationship to the landscape and the effects that our history has had upon the spaces we inhabit. Of particular importance is the absence of the figure in the work. By depriving the viewer of recognizable and identifiable gauges of scale, the pieces can take on a much greater presence. They are meant to appear as if they exist just on the horizon. Imposing, but inaccessible.
By combining history, psychology, and landscape, I intend to address the collective history of America. I do this by creating large-scale sculpture installations that evoke our collective industrial past. My ultimate goal is to ask the viewer to assess their own place and history, enriching their understanding of their position in history.