I wish I could believe in something. The unfathomable, unintelligible, obscured truths underlying human existence: these are the things that drive my practice. Landscapes seen and unseen are my last source of awe; here my doubt is suspended and I can believe in something – for a moment.
My work explores landscapes inspired by microbiology, finding lineage in the Romantic artists of the 19th century who pursued the sublime in grand vistas. Historically, the sublime has been associated with great things in nature – torrential storms, cavernous depths, frightening heights, and infinitely barren deserts. The sublime experience is born in a sense of amazement and is often linked to fear of something beyond our understanding or control. I look to the amazing intricacy in nature, the hills and valleys of microscopic flora and fauna. This vast universe lying just out of sight tickles my longing to believe in the mysterious unknown. The abundance of unfamiliar life in my work triggers a cautious curiosity. In further contrast to Romantic art which neatly contained their landscapes, my imagined worlds push beyond the boundaries provided for them invading our tense reality. These unfamiliar landscapes offer a window of escape, where viewers explore their relationship to an alternate world which bears similarities to our own. In my imagined terrain, each individual is absurdly insignificant except for its interconnectedness to everything around them. Gathered en masse, these lifeforms overwhelm the structure upon which they grow.
Material experimentation allows me to make the unseen tangible. These landscapes, both simple and complex, familiar and unfamiliar, reflect on the vast network of multiplicity that operates just beneath the surface. Using raw clay as the dominant material ensures that my work can disappear, being reabsorbed into the earth. Instead of relying on the ability of fired clay to withstand time, I use raw clay in order to embrace ephemerality. Impermanence enhances preciousness. The things that don’t last demand more careful attention.