I make conceptual maps that are informed by autobiography and environment, linking internal and external landscapes. They use visual markers of the built and natural world alongside language in fictional landscapes. These take the form of painting, prints, and installation.
Visually, the work pulls from conceptual art, comics, cartography and landscape painting. I begin with verse as a starting point of each work, writing on a manual typewriter and then structuring, revising and editing into economical, suggestive phrases and then use the edited texts in created landscapes, connecting poetry with topography. Writing and painting are close processes for me – stemming from my background in writing, as well as a deep interest in the relationship between image and text.
I use the process of mapping - surveying, marking, naming - for multiple reasons. As a pictorial trope, maps present visual and written information in a seemingly objective way, they suggest a type of factual truth. A map is a quantitative device, it measures, locates, directs, and I use that as a framework to instead present qualitative information: the temporal, a conversation overheard, weather reports, experiences. In the works, symbols of hard data (flags, signs, borders, geologic forms, terrain plans) are used to frame soft data (wordplay, metaphors, humor, idioms) allowing image and language to continuously modify each other.
My interest in this type of work is personal: for three generations my family has moved from continent to continent due to political and religious persecution. English was learned outside the home, and was processed as a language to compare the concrete places of New York City, with the mythical places of family stories. This fostered a deep curiosity into how words and story shape a landscape, and it’s inverse, how landscape takes a form in narrative, both reinforcing each others changing existence.