Forced Connections 

Forced Connections

I have come to realize I am the only person I want to spend long periods of time with in the studio. So, to begin, I sit down with my reflection and converse in a mirror using ink and paper for hours. Each consecutive print is a ghost-image of my reflection, they fade to white as the ink exhausts itself on the press and I exhaust the conversation. With those portraits and their ghosts I weave my likenesses together. Like puppets the portraits are helpless without someone to manipulate them. The bodies are caught in motion, rendering the function of their limbs useless: heads twisted against chests, hands grasped onto knees, feet hung on shoulders, a neck in the crook of a waist.

 

Each configuration of prints comes to me as a surprise. Rather than dictate how the bodies will converge, I weave them together haphazardly focusing on the micro-level connections between the paper and brads so they do not break against each other. A main element of my work is play, and allowing myself to let go of the preconceptions of art needing to have a meaning at every step of the process. I learn from the absurdity of contorting my own two-dimensional bodies. The idea started out as a study in identity and the multiplicity of self but, over time the work has become more about the connection between a the disjointed human images and the emotion those configurations evoke.

 

My studio process is simple and twofold. First I work with ink and paper primarily. I use my hands, the tips of my fingers, the sides of my palms, and my knuckles to manipulate the ink; my body is the image and the creator. After the individual portraits are constructed with brads, I play with them. Each individual is constrained by its crude capability to move at hinged joints. Using these movements I allow the bodies to organically find ways of ways of fitting in with each other. The woven patterns are dictated by the tension of each connection and limited possibilities to interlock the body parts to one another. My process focuses on this tension and aims to find balance through continuous destruction and discovery of myself.