I was trusted with sharp objects from an early age. Fillet knives, fishing hooks, needles, and nails gave me lessons in dexterity and diligence. I relished every dirty, hands-on activity in which I found myself immersed, like when I was six and insisted on putting leeches on my own hook, or when I was eight and my dad bravely allowed me to raid his tools for experimental bird houses. Today I approach making art with the same curiosity and exploration of materials.
The physical and emotional exercise of deconstructing or transforming materials becomes a way to process and share my experiences growing up surrounded by hunters, fishermen, and fur trappers. I pull apart wasp hives, skin beaver tails, felt plant and animal fiber, and crush turtle shells. In the process, I develop tactile and metaphorical relationships with the non-human world that explore ideas of observation, memory, preservation, and transformation.
The “final” works manifest themselves as photograms, photographs, assemblage, and cast metal forms.