As the first of nine children, growing up I held an outward view toward the world and was excited by a feeling of adventure. My family moved quite a bit, from New Jersey to Long Island to the Midwest, so I eventually adjusted to shifting locations and customs. My arrival in New Mexico in the early 80s was pivotal. I found harmony and beauty in the spiritual traditions and perspectives of the native people—their profound connection to and respect for the land and nature, a keen attention to inner guides, and the ability to decipher messages in the symbols all around us. I felt a recognition of home and belonging, and it sparked an appreciation for my personal family history and my art became an ongoing exploration and discovery of my own sense of place. Equally fascinated by the dream world, many of my images emerge from the stream of consciousness that holds our memories, a rich and magic content for stories of transformation.
After becoming a full-time mother in the mid-eighties, I developed a freelance business, working in graphic design and illustration for over 30 years. In 2001, I became involved with community art and helped organize and develop the “We Art the People” Folk Art Festival hosted by OffCenter Community Arts Space, where I learned the art of giant puppet-making and the value of collaboration with a large group of diverse artists. I continued to be inspired to do my own art during this time, experimenting with mixed media and cardboard construction.
I am intrigued with the iconic image of the equal-armed cross as a universal symbol of life, carried through many cultures and ages. It represents the contrasts and duality that we encounter in our daily lives, and I image, our learned and patterned interplay between them, especially in terms of environment, religion, social justice, and human evolution. Bombarding influences of visual and sound bite messaging from our very commercial, technology driven, and fast paced lifestyle is reflected in my use of pop imagery and objects as they are the characters and connecting ideas on a landscape of polarity and paradox.
Fascinated with the intersecting lines and the simplicity of the cross icon, I eventually found it in old game boards. Parcheesi and other aged games use the image as a foundation for navigating players around the spaces until they find “home.” For me, the gameboard signifies our wandering and curiosity and is a familiar reflection of our own journey through life. It explores our interconnectedness with all things and the possible impact that it can have. It has been observed that the smallest change in a system can result in very large differences in that system’s behavior. I look at the effect of our earthly play on our environment with a sense of both adventure and concern, and a deep appreciation for our natural world.
I love paper as it is organic and malleable. It moves and shifts with its surrounding conditions. As a paper artist, I am often delighted with the unexpected and small surprises that will happen while working with it. An environmental component is important to me and the marking of everyday objects, so I use many recycled materials and work on a cardboard substrate. My work collages imagery, color, transparency, found media and objects that are stitched, bolted, painted, and constructed onto double corrugated cardboard.