Danger Iceberg

These are pages from a book I have been working on from 2003 to the present. This work has slowly revealed itself to be about water, rising water, and human impact on the planet and is part of a larger project called The Sea Museum. The found book that I am altering to make these photomontages was about destroying icebergs, the problem of icebergs, and appears to have been made for children’s education (Danger! Icebergs Ahead! by Lynn Poole and Gray Johnson Poole, Random House, 1961). I’ve always been interested in the absurd, and was feeling a homage to Hanna Hoch, the great Dada artist. I began adding water and related images. I wasn’t working consciously in the beginning, just covering the pages with water. The subject matter feels prescient now, fifteen years in, and I am still altering the book. Like the oceans, this project continues to exist and change.


King Speaking


“King Speaking” is a sequence excerpted from the latter half of a book-length erasure, Her Read, forthcoming from Texas Review Press in 2021. Her Read reconceives the entirety of The Meaning of Art (Faber & Faber, 1931), a highly regarded exploration of art from prehistory to the modern era by British art and cultural critic Herbert Read. Though the maternal body appears with frequency, zero womxn artists are included in the early editions of this text. In 1951, Barbara Hepworth becomes the sole female artist to be admitted.


I began this makeover summer of 2016, in that pre-election heat, when rage at the latest iterations of hate on the American political stage, in conjunction with erasures playing out in my own life, made other writing seem impossible. From the voice of the male critic surveying male bodies of work, I began excavating a first-person lyric, the imagined voice(s) of womxn artists.


The concept of “mastery” appears with frequency over the course of the book, issues of dominion—that is to say—control—over a medium of expression, over other humans, and of course, over the Earth. One may well ask, what is art but a pronunciation of mastery? One may ask, must it always be?


Though I call this erasure, collage is a more accurate descriptor of this late excerpt. The surgical reconstruction contrasts cruder, monochromatic pages early in the text—used canvases treated only with correction fluid. As the book advances, the speaker gains agency over the text, revising the rules to serve to her fluencies. One rule is not broken: all language excavated and redeployed in this text can be harvested from a single copy of Read’s seminal text.


Materials:  source text, correction fluid, archival inks, bookbinders glue, florist tissue, window shades, general purpose thread, embroidery floss.


The Secret War on Laos: UXO

This body of work is inspired by the non-profit organization, Legacies of War, and their mission: “To raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs.” As a refugee/immigrant, the process of connecting and disconnecting with a place or community are abstracted ideas of migration. Similarly, the collage and painting process is unpredictable and is an ongoing dialogue about assimilating and relocating into another culture and space.


Rendered Complete Equals


Through mixed media painting and drawing, I experiment with the pictorial function of words by deconstructing textual elements alongside organic forms. The integration of collage media provides a way to establish a visual dialogue between both natural and manmade symbols. The resulting imagery is gradually developed through the layering of paint with castoff bits gathered from unexpected sources. Paper scraps, eroded bits of plastic, vinyl lettering, discarded signage, fabric remnants, and old drawings ultimately find links to one another, fitting together much like a puzzle.


Cut and Paste


In my collages, I mine popular visual culture to explore experiences of mood and an altered sense of reality. These collages reflect, through juxtaposition, an experiencing of a reality different from those experiencing consensus-reality, yet simultaneously they remain relatable in a way that forms a new sensibility. Given their small-scale, they function much like snapshots and spontaneous occurrences.