We humans are a part of one heaving organism, entangled and tumbling over one another. Using sculpture, installation, and mark-making, my work explores the tension between individuality and collectivity, visibility and anonymity, impermanence and the embedded potential for transformation. I aim to create visual experiences of our interconnectedness to each other and the Earth, disrupting the fantasy of a sovereign self, separate from and in control of the Other. My sculptures, installations, and mark-making examine the power of the small when gathered into intricate ecosystems. An on-going meditation on our interdependence on the Earth drives continued reference to landscape both in the materials I choose and the way I compose them.
My sculptural work uses an aesthetic of cellular proliferation to visualize the human species as an interconnected organism. I compose my works using primarily unfired clay accompanied by supporting materials, imparting them with precarity and the capacity for reformation. Time is an important component of my engagement with materials. Working with unfired clay allows me to create temporary structures which are ultimately dismantled, and the materials reused in new configurations. This primordial material bears the memory of the earliest artists, offering a connection to human and non-human bodies across time and space. My methods are accretive, slowly building up impermanent formations that will be undone over time.
Emerging from a desire to be seen on my own terms, my mark-making practice blends references to Colour Field painting and cave paintings. Just as prehistoric artists recorded their presence using pigments of the Earth, my finger paintings record my presence with a simple, yet persistent gesture. Using soil, clay, and naturally occurring oxides, these paintings connect me to the earliest artists, as we insist on recording our existence with the Earth. Until the 1960s, Canadian immigration policy explicitly favored people of European descent. The legacy of this policy is visible in every room I enter. It reminds me, an Egyptian-Canadian, that whiteness was the goal for this nation. It is in this context that I continue to assert my right to take space and make space for others to join me in transforming white spaces by recording our presence. My extremely individual mark is a universal one, shared among all humans.