Language Acquisition: Word-Based (2018 – present)


I identified as a writer before I did as an artist. Words were never a problem for me until recent phenomena such as “information exhaustion” and “doomscrolling” seemed to take their toll and silence me. As I found myself unable to verbalize the onslaught of personal and political events that have transpired, my work evolved to incorporate text, distilling my reactions into a singular word. I create photographic chemigrams by applying resists onto silver gelatin photo paper, and process the prints to create cameraless photographs. I then cut these prints, rearrange them to disrupt the letterforms, and either sew them into singular physical pieces, or construct them into sculptural works. The abstraction of the stenciled letters mirrors my inability to find words that fully represent my emotions by rendering the language indecipherable, instead embedding the essence of the word’s meaning. 

My formal concerns involve using wood and thread to equate the photographic paper to sculptural materials. I look to parallels between sewing and analog photography, in that both sewing machines and silver gelatin prints were once considered more automated technologies, but nowadays are viewed as involved in the creation of “hand-made” objects. These pieces celebrate photographic paper as a physical medium, more than simply the substrate on which an image from the outside world rests. The silver gelatin paper is freed to accomplish its essential property – record the presence of light.