My Father Before Me
Formally, this exhibition consisted of two elements. Ten framed 40” x 30” works on heavy, off-white paper and a large-scale wall-sculpture. The mixed media works on dense paper are made with clothing dye, sumi ink, coffee, copper leaf and acrylic paint. The liquid media are used as a type of wash, in much the same way as East Asian brush painting uses black ink. Floating one medium on top of the other creates the wet combinations, each kept in bounds by the surface tension of the first liquid applied to the flat plane of the paper. The warm, water-based palette was chosen for the compatibility of the shades. When I mixed the media together the physical act of combination was dynamic; two bifurcating fluids attempting to achieve equilibrium while trying to escape from the same crowded space but eventually settling in, and although now dry, they are still expressing the struggle.
Because the copper leaf oxidizes naturally, or is forced to change by chemical reaction, organic patterns are created in the discoloration thus expressing a deeper perception of violation and degradation. Most of the drawings contain straight columns of acrylic paint “particles”. While the viewer will affix them with their own meanings for me the rows are a transporting device taking me back to an earlier time in my life. I see them as a stabilizing mechanism embedded in a swirling vortex of emotional pandemonium.
The wall-sculpture consists of two hand-cut floor joists I removed from an archaic Ohio farmhouse and are 140.5” x 8” x 2”. I manipulated their appearance with paint, stain, parting strips, moldings and ceramic tiles. The two joists are mounted in the corner, joined with their tenens interlocked, and as such, become “one piece” utilizing the architecture of the space as well as referencing their former lives as architectural elements. In an attempt to hybridize the principles of the drawings, the inlayed tiles mimic the particles applied to the paper pieces. I feel that the two-dimensional and sculptural elements combine to create a cohesive installation mounted in two adjoining spaces, allowing for a conversation back and forth as the viewer moves from one space to the other.
My Father Before Me