We are all breathing, all the time, at the same time.
My work is about simultaneity, as I try to grasp what it means for each of us to possess unique subjectivity within universal consciousness. In my work, the individual line, thread, or word is autonomous, but exists in the context of countless similar and layered gestures. Processes such as hand weaving, drawing, and book making, put me in direct proximity to time as well as material, and allow me to see clearly how each action builds on the many that came before.
Drawing is my starting point, where I respond materially to the promptings of intuition. In some drawings, ink washes coalesce into monumental images with all the weight of sedimentary rock, while in others the whispery lines of silverpoint dissipate like a moving cloud. The resulting pieces are a map of their own making; they tell the story of form emerging over time.
I use language as material in my work, elaborating the ways words create shared meaning concurrent with personal interpretation. Books demonstrate this dual capacity, as a book is both a radically individual experience, as well as the medium by which ideas are transferred between people and through time. Yet the efficacy of communication is always in doubt – language is always inadequate to the task of negotiating the gap between human experiences. In my work, I explore the mutability of linguistic messaging: words always mean more than one thing.
Inherent in the medium of hand-weaving and dyeing is a history of provision, and of resistance to industrial production. Weaving requires handling each thread, carefully creating the conditions for hundreds of separate parts to intersect, turning the linear material of thread into planar cloth. In ikat, the process of resist dyeing a design onto the warp, threads stretch at different rates under tension on the loom, creating distortion in the design. I appreciate ikat for how it highlights each thread as individual, even as their separateness is subsumed within the singularity of cloth. The tool of the floor loom reintroduces me to my body, requiring the use of hands, arms, legs and feet. My body is both my vehicle through and division from the world; one way that I am both alike and different from everyone else.
Weaving is rhythmic, like breath. Over and over, the shuttle draws the trail of weft thread through the warp, accumulating the record of crossings that can be read in cloth. We spend our lives wrapped in the woven matrix of textiles. Through literal movements of my body, I access the metaphor that our human relationship to fabric has embedded in idiomatic language: we are all cut from the same cloth. The words “text” and “textile” both come from the word “texere,” meaning “to weave.”
There are over seven billion of us on earth, totally separated from each other by the boundaries of our bodies… yet we are all breathing, all the time, at the same time.