Being immersed in an environment changes everything. My drawings originate from, and are profoundly influenced by, the physical spaces I inhabit during their making. I use materials - ink, charcoal, graphite, watercolor, wax - that can be layered and manipulated, with each mark echoing the surfaces and forms I have seen or touched. My drawings are structures on paper that seek to capture the history and physicality of the built forms I encounter, while evoking living, natural, systems. In and out of the studio, I am driven to explore the relationships between the bodily activity of drawing and our interpretation of organic systems and phenomena. Currently, I combine visual elements from the natural and built environments, with close attention to biology, geology, and architecture.
I believe that the act of drawing is a way of residing in multiple states of awareness – of present, past, future – of what one is, has been, and hopes to become – of the physical, the mental, and the formal. I draw as a way to see more deeply, both inside and out, and to elevate the act of seeing to a process that is fully engaging of both body and mind. In the gesture of a drawing, there abides the question of how human beings hold memory. I care about how the body holds its history, and how that history can be performed through the act of making embodied signs. As my practice bridges the concerns of traditional markmaking, new media, and the visual cultures of science, I seek to discover ways in which drawing operates as a site of trans-disciplinary inquiry.
Excerpt from “Marking Time, Figuring Space: Gesture and the Embodied Moment” published in the journal of visual culture, December 2008
Drawing is a site that holds the potential to gesture in common. Perhaps, as Novalis suggested: ‘Poetic art is nothing but a willful, active, and productive use of our organs’ (Agamben, 1999: 78). In this sense, I believe the gesture can carry the will, action, and a state of aesthetic productivity from artist to audience and from individual to community, through bodies moving, making, and responding in engaged sensory participation. Noland (2008) seems correct when she suggests that ‘gestures migrate’ and ‘undergo appropriations and enjoy afterlives that change their initial function’ (p. x), as the gesture of a drawing transmutes through body to surface and back to body, skin to skin, meaning to meaning. Personal memory reconstitutes to a shared public experience, moving outward to vitalize a network of interpretive and generative actions.
As a drawn gesture points to a moment in time and a movement in space, so too may it generate openings for engagement, exchange, and invention. How do we leave our mark on drawings, or systems, that ask for our participation? When called to lay hands upon a surface and make a mark, where do we locate our satisfaction? Is it in the simple bodily act of touching? Is it in the hope that our mark communicates something about the condition of our being? Is it in curious anticipation of what marks may follow? These questions have at their core an appeal to the relational, a challenge to open the visual image with an animating somatic force and embrace the risks entailed in that encounter. As manifest in the making, showing, and interpreting of drawing, the embodying gesture holds both the past that expires in a deed and the possibility for new life, memory and potential in, and on, a shared skin.
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