Years ago, my Aunt Cindy was dying from cancer. Several states away and knowingly helpless, I asked my Dad how I could support him or the family. We lost her not long after our conversation on the acceptance of the stages of loss and grieving.
Loss brings reflection, and a small ember of an idea was sparked.
I began to recognize the universal phrases of comfort or affirmation we all use to deflect or pacify emotionally vulnerable situations, and how we use them as a talisman to guide us to safety. In a way, the work I make is an act of service to process and contextualize a loved one’s grief, loss, anger, or frustration. What has been a running current for me is the concept of relinquishing control over the outcome connecting the cyclical nature of words of reassurance and the loss of control. Engagement of audience participation represents the destructive path of emotional avoidance and encourage an open loss of control. My installations take on an organic experience as each viewer can interact with their own interpretation and permit a gradual deconstruction to emphasize the banality of a phrase in physical time or space. The culmination of the viewers’ actions leave behind chaotic detritus and residue, which forces myself as the artist to remove my prior notions of how the piece should appear.