Legacy: Alzheimer’s Stories
My Grandmothers (Gram and Granny) were both diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1999 within months of one another. They lost the ultimate battle in 2004, again within months of one another. As a result, I have become obsessed with absorbing my Grandmothers’ and consequently my own past. As they struggled to retain their identity and their memories, I am now determined to gather them and add them to my own. The result is this imagery.
I have collected items and locations belonging to and inspired by my Grandmothers as well as my own physical and mental inheritance. Using these everyday things along with my memories and those given to me by members of my family as well as a vast collection of family photographs, I have built narratives within the frame. Through the years and through the course of creating, some of the narratives stray, and thusly this has become a reflection of myself to a much greater extent than I could have imagined.
Throughout history, women have put their bodies, and thusly, their psyches through torturous measures trying to live up to the elusive thing that is beauty. We have constricted our breathing and injected ourselves with poison. We have teetered precariously, balancing on miniscule pedestals and we have crafted our flesh into acceptable contours. But we have not been forced into doing so. We have consensually subjected ourselves to these ridiculous and dangerous tribulations.Through a combination of technical processes, I am able to merge representations of the accepted and established notions of what is beautiful with those of my manufactured grotesque. In this manner, I hope to give way to a different definition of beauty, one of engaging oddity and lush ambiguity.
Travels in Plastic: double exposure made at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI
Wild plants choose the space in which they reside; they have memory and they learn. Indigenous botanist Robin Wall Kitterer quantifies plants as animated, living beings and as living beings they breathe, dance and preen. This work was made during an artist residency at Taleamor Park in LaPorte, Indiana and explores how the plant’s sense place directly enhances the human interaction with space and place.
Archival Images from Lumen Prints
Lumen Prints are solar photograms – a cameraless photographic process involving black and white photographic paper, in this case an organic material, and the Sun. The sun reacts with the organic material and sunlight to produce color in the black and white paper.
Through the Glass Nightly I
I worked as a bartender during my college years in the cabaret of one of the premier gay clubs in the south. Around this time I took my first Photography class and began photographing these amazing people. This body of work is a retrospective of just over ten years of working with this unique and beautiful group of entertainers. I was welcomed into their world and many times felt that I had been adopted by a wondrously dysfunctional family. I learned a lot about their lives and lifestyle plus some killer make-up tips…in turn I like to think I taught them a few things as well.Many times throughout the years I felt a little like Alice in the Looking Glass. Everything seemed as one would expect…but when you looked a little closer…things were just a little bit different.