Particularly drawn to the home and its residents, I exploit the uncanny while subverting domestic representations of perfection and happiness. I use obsession, personification and gothic overtones to convey the idea that looks can be deceiving, and I interpret the family, the posed portrait and the American neighborhood as stages where this unsettling dynamic plays out. Conceptual strategies such as repeating, simulating, concealing, withholding and mutating induce a sense of discomfort in the work. By employing tight boundaries, clean edges and sickly smiles, secret interiors and private spaces are protected from the outside world.
These protective barriers are created through the use of obsessive mark making. While subtly implying that my subjects are flawed, the handmade mark in this work, including drawing, cutting and sewing, is evidence of our human condition—that is, we create our own realities and we are not as perfect as we may seem. As a timeless method of fixing and mending, I use sewing as a metaphor for “keeping it together.” This relentless need to prevent things from “ripping apart at the seams” speaks to the human need for connection, while simultaneously masking this vulnerability to appear composed in the eyes of others.
Through installations that personify residential living spaces, I also explore the home as a living entity; ageing, protecting, listening, witnessing, breathing, knowing and retaining the energetic residue of those who live there, or once lived there. In a climate of foreclosed homes, abandoned neighborhoods, broken families and forgotten dreams, my work explores the still life remaining in these structures, relationships and domestic artifacts, and questions our society’s obsession with, and definition of, the American Dream.