Artist Statement Fall 2014

Melancholia and mania serve as two poles of consumerism between which members of modern society continuously volley. The first pole is born of materialism, over-consumption, exploitation of natural resources, and the harming of plant and animal species; the resulting emotion is melancholia. The second pole is a behavioral response to the melancholia – a wish to distract, numb, and abate feelings. It is accomplished and encouraged by and ever-increasing dependence on materialism, distracting gadgets, isolation, and numbing behaviors. This is mania.

When one cannot properly mourn the loss of grand, abstract notions of a dying planet, one reaches for a fix of materialism, distraction, or numbness. Once guilt sets in, or the fix wears off, the process begins again. It is a dangerous cycle, on many levels.

Out of a profound love and respect for the natural world, my work expresses the ideas of melancholia and mania, seeking to allow the viewer to fully experience the inherent, buried grief. To be fully present is the only way to end the melancholic-manic cycle.

I do not seek to limit my work under the label of activism. Rather, I see it as a catalyst. The catalytic power of an artwork is made more provocative when it opens in stages and layers, and is not so quick to give itself away. As such, my work is symbolically and emotionally layered.

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