I’m so very excited to share a virtual tour of my Testament Exhibition! My friend Gene Ellenberg put this together for me, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful, complete document of the most labor intensive, heart-felt work I’ve ever made. It walks you through the house room by room, and gives you an intimate look at the photographs, sculptures, and installation works in the show. This was such a personal exhibition, and is the focused culmination of three years of introspection, research, and hard work. Each piece in the show is laden with meaning, and works together under the thematic umbrella of love relationships and their endurance of heavy burdens, and the impending release of that heaviness. I think of the house of a witness to these acts, the carrying of the burden, the act of bearing it, and the act of releasing it. The photographs are documents of the moments just before release, just before crossing over into a time of rest. The sculptures represent an Biblical narrative that weaves together ideas of bearing weight, sacrifice, love, and faith. Symbolic materials such as wool, human hair, clay, ashes, and water are used to further the narrative, referring directly to ideas and scripture that have shaped my understanding of relationships, faith, and perseverance.
Below is the artist statement for Testament. I hope you enjoy the tour!
I am curious about how relationships survive, why they dissolve, how people love one another, and how such love is expressed. In this work, I am investigating heavy burdens and how we carry them. I am interested in the spiritual labor of bearing weight, submission, futileness, and persistence.
To create the work, I rented an empty house for a year, and transformed it into a makeshift sanctuary, a freighted space for constructing photographs. I chose this house because it reminds me very much of the house I grew up in. It has a worn-in, gentle quality, and I felt connected to it the moment I walked through the door. In the photographs, each room is styled with sentimental textiles, trinkets, and colors that I remember from my 1980’s childhood home.
I fabricated sculptural objects for each image, using materials such as wool, linen, clay, human hair, and beeswax. The materials borrow symbolic language from the Bible, and create alter-like, fleshy masses. I imagine the house as a gateway, the silent space just before crossing over. The people in the photographs are in the final phase of bearing weight, moments away from finally laying it down. I am seeking the moment of relief, and relishing in the moments just before it occurs.
I like to know and feel the moment where people fall apart, and saturate my work in it. I want to push at a breaking point, and hold out hope for restoration. These photographs are representations of quiet, ultra-still, delicate moments of raw humanness; the phase just after a laboring, aching fall and at the point when renewal inevitably begins.