In my decades-long figurative series, I explore themes that focus on solitude, identity and issues of being older including isolation, loneliness, dignity and invisibility. I reflect on our idea of what is beautiful, or not. My imagery portrays the effects of age, wisdom and how experience enables people to cope with the frequently overwhelming world they navigate. Often narrative, my themes focus on relationships between the individual and society and reference the concept of control: who or what is in control and the struggle to maintain control.
A special concern is displacement: being included or excluded. I think about people who leave home, cross borders and face the barrier of being marginalized as other. A migrant’s identity is often reduced to a number, code or cypher on an ID card or passport. I examine people reacting to change, fitting in, understanding, finding one’s place in another culture: resident, native or migrant; refugee, expat, or exile.
In a related series, I look for connections between natural spaces and populated, constructed places. I choose subjects from urban streets or rural woods and creeks, relying on my affinity for the person or object that is otherwise unremarkable, unnoticed or overlooked. This series explores presence, absence and the dispersed. I see a metaphor for migrating people in creek stones that currents pick up and move to new places, leaving behind impressions and memories in the hollow voids in the stream bed.
The self- and societally-imposed isolation of living under the threat of the pandemic gives my focus on being apart a new perspective. We have retreated and removed ourselves. I examine the notion of disappearing and experiment with new processes to create the illusion of people vanishing into a mist.
I balance the information I present with what I leave unstated, often seeking a more minimal vocabulary. My work draws the viewer in but lets them to craft their own narrative. Like a walk in the fog, the landscape is there, but unseen. Much is left to the imagination. The mist starts my mind working to see more than my eyes reveal, to fill in blanks and imagine the obscured.