A Gift:

Reflecting on past negative experiences and creating an artwork to hold that space.
August 2021

    In March I left Houston to attend a two-week residency in Seaview, Washington. I'd never been to Washington before. While aboard the plane I pondered upon what it was I sought from the experience. All I could think about was a need to be free of something: to be relieved of the seemingly nonstop traumas of the past year. I had not yet come out the other side of it.

    When I arrived, I realized the drive from Portland was three, almost four hours. I drove on roads and through wooded areas that looked like they were sculpted for car commericals. It was beautiful. Yet, it all seemed very temporary, much like my stay in the area. I noticed, as I grew closer, that there were big trucks coursing up and down the same highways. They were exporting this paradise for economic reasons. Their experience, too, would begin to feel temporary. I knew I wanted to speak to that.

    I had an obligation to present a public work while undertaking the residency and I felt I would use that opportunity to paint a picture of how delicate the future of that community would be, if they continued in that manner.

    I worked through a lot during my residency. As is the case, I went a little mad trying to remove my ego from scenerios so that I might be able to better assess my role in either situation I sought to investigate.

    As a result, I created five new sculptures addressing a system of structures present within multiple facets of our everyday lives. I thought the best way to keep information hidden while passing it through to the future, would be through creative abstractions.

    I also thought about how Dawn needed support while she was in Houston, so many years ago. I thought about how she stepped in and recommended that I apply for this residency. In a lot of ways she provided me a centering opportunity.

    I bought this and another lockbox with the intent of creating two works that would speak to hearts of gold draped in soot. I felt slighted, abused, misused and ignored after departing from a large exhibition just prior to the residency. I wanted to characterize or encase the emotional response in a symbolic way.

    Instead, there’s a gold heart that sits above the soot.