I started this body of work as part of my own reckoning. The methodical creation of these pieces gave me an internal voice for self-confrontation after a period of mental and physical transitions.
I have always loved collage and vintage imagery, and I’ve been collecting scouting and Red Cross handbook for years. These pieces are a marriage of collage, monoprints, and hand cut stencils. For me, pulling all those elements together is a snapshot of my artistic journey.
I began making subversive collages in my 20s. They were heavy on anti-consumerism, anti-establishment messages, and snark. It was through collage that I learned the delight of pulling something out of context. The removal of the framework around an image or phrase opens limitless possibilities for new interpretations.
All the stencil pieces in the firstAID series are simple single images pulled out of context. Inside the confines of an instructional manual they make perfect sense. Standing alone and greatly magnified, they’re vaguely unsettling and somewhat uncomfortable. All the images chosen are about physical salvation but with no context, they tell a more ambiguous story.
I projected the images onto the substrate because I wanted them to transfer exactly how they were originally drawn. This added an additional layer of distortion from the change of scale.
After each stencil, I removed the original image from the source material and made a collage using rejected monoprints from my studio.
My most recent work before this series has been lunar and botanical monoprints. The colors have been soft and the themes have been natural. I’ve made dozens of pieces based on moons and eclipses, using dried organic materials and sparse composition.
Five or six years ago, I had my portfolio reviewed. The reviewer noticed a running theme of shapes and colors in my prints and remarked that they were akin to looking through a thick piece of glass.
I was immediately drawn back to my childhood and pieces fell into place. When I was very young, our dining room had a table with a sculptural black base topped by a very thick slab of tempered glass. I could clearly recall the feel of that cool glass pressed against my forehead as I looked through it, captivated by the way the glass changed the light.
It was then I realized that we are captives of our past in some ways. The influence of our experiences never leaves us and it will find a way to seep out. This realization is what led me to use these soft and ethereal monoprints in this series. The full circle of past and present is represented while the context of both is disrupted.
This process has been a way for me to confront the vague discontentment about all the things I should be doing, and all the things I should be experiencing fully, instead of simply getting through the days.