Coddiwomple (2023)


“Coddiwomple” is an informal verb that means “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”. The word encapsulated both my artistic process and personal life for six months as I anticipated an upcoming move to an unknown location, and set working habits for myself to create a body of work with an uncertain final format. The site-specific installation celebrates silver gelatin paper as a sculptural object, while the numerous compositions captured by detail images spotlight moments of hope, anxiety, and anticipation.

Throughout my artistic career, I have frequently fallen victim to the idea that artmaking must wait for the “perfect moment” when I am free of all other obligations in order to attain the mental capacity to create. I spend large amounts of my life feeling out of balance due to a lack of steady production, and yet I continually believe the invented narrative that I “do not have time” to create due to stresses during the teaching portions of my year. I intellectually know that I must find the time wherever possible, I must choose to prioritize creation and play rather than waiting on grand inspirations, lofty ideas, and vast rolling meadows of free time — but I find myself frequently paralyzed in this fog of inaction for months on end.

Bound by set variables of time and amount of paper to create a site-specific installation, Coddiwomple allowed me to break free of these mental roadblocks that hold me back from regular creation, and imagine a transformed identity for myself as an artist. The piece consists of approximately 400 feet of silver gelatin paper harnessed into lumens, cyanolumens, and chemigrams. Thread provides a structural element and also serves as a means of directing the chemistry into visual forms. The self-imposed obligation to create a certain amount of feet per week compelled me to examine my immediate physical and mental landscapes. As such it is a document of a transitional, uncertain period of time distilled into visuals created by sunlight, atmosphere, and chemistry. Contained within these ribbons of sewn paper are patterns of blooming flora, health scares, formal experimentations, explorations of new geography, journal entries, mundane observations, contemplations on climate change, and memorials of precious objects.


Installation images made at the Institute for Photographic Studies of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain, July 2023