I am interested in the female coming of age narrative. In particular, and as a Westerner, the coming of age in the lives of young women reared in agricultural and livestock settings. While these environments are often centered on animals, and as such, cycles of breeding, birthing, and dying are routine, ironically, fertility as it pertains to young women, is barely recognized. In this world, women work alongside men, with little room for privacy let alone their specific biological and/or personal needs. Coming of age girls fumble through menstruation, and as they mature into women hood, this struggle translates into awkwardness with sex, conception, birth, miscarriage and abortion. It’s as though the cultural progressive conversation of women and their bodies is considered inconsequential and unimportant. Women are raised to consider their physical, emotional, or intellectual circumstance as not having priority. Their value as individuals is determined by serving to the needs of others, and in this servitude, they are to find fulfillment and happiness. Period.
As an artist I am interested in communicating the hushed notion of appropriate privacy as a form of absence or abandonment because this is the character of these women’s lives. Common, made, and manipulated objects are presented in installation and performance modes. From the fields or the farm home where these quiet, fragile narratives exist, I have discovered how unobtrusive materials and objects become complex and even poignant. Ironing boards foster order and control over wrinkles and over the imperfection of a female identity. Vanities, with wrap around structures and mirrors reflect the reality of one’s image in relation to the pressures of idealism. There is the red beet growing under the earth’s surface. Is the crimson residue the root of human existence - it’s saturated stain, the substance of circumstance? These are the metaphors and analogies my art explores.