Cleaner Laundry, 2004

Art in the Woods, Stillmoreroots Group, Stillmore GA

My first month back after Australia was a whirlwind. Four months in a grand sense is a mere handful of days, but for me it was an eternity in aimless travel. I found myself in a constant mode of comparison between that country and mine, geographically, politically, and culturally.

As a photographer I had a difficult time in Australia; the beauty of the land is overwhelming. But to focus only on beauty, I felt I may as well just purchase postcards. I began to look for quietness and simplicity that I would look for in any land. Their manifestation into sheets echoed my rose-colored ideas of a country less inflammatory in a political sense, a country that in my subjective view of a traveler had less dirty laundry than the United States.

Using pine twigs to make hatchmarks, I referenced that ambiguous passage of time, but in the most primitive mark-making which has a universal sense. Sheets hanging out to dry calls to mind the idea of washing as an act of “women’s work”, a concept I often utilize in my art. As the breeze blew on this one-day event, the snapping of small branches could be heard as the sheets shifted back and forth through the aisle of pines. I felt this contrast was notable, as a sheet normally is associated with warmth and calm as it protects us while we sleep, but here the sheet was bold enough to carve shapes out of a pine forest.