GoggleWorks has had the pleasure to host three Kutztown University seniors during their final semester of school. The purpose of the residency was to take them beyond their university classrooms to experience other spaces and studios to expand their practice and evolve their art. This exhibiting exhibition is a culmination of all of their hard work over the last three months.
Through a process of replication and manipulation, my work provides me an outlet to decipher the body and grasp identity. Utilizing materials that inherently fill, cover or merge with a subject, I am able to reproduce fragments of my own person that then become specimens to examine and dissect. Metal, wood, and other structural materials become the skeleton of the inorganic versions of myself. Silicone, textiles, and photography form the external body. Further exploration of these forms through photography and digital manipulation allows me additional capacity to interrogate the figure. Through this interrogation, I aim to discover more about being trapped in my own body. I can then analyze this reality as both a universal human experience and a personal experience. Photographic and sculptural elements meld to become a new homogenous being. These beings are finished but still maintain a sense of rawness, allowing the ordeal and strain of having a body to transcend from an inorganic form. This culminates in a vulnerability through channeling my own trauma into a physical object. Through showing the material evidence of creation I create a tribute to my body that my viewer can translate into their own experiences.
Capturing the natural world within a photograph allows me to recontextualize and present forms of nature in unexpected ways. Searching for commonalities between nature and the body, my work attempts to bridge the space between the outside world and the human experience. I aim to photograph the natural world in a context that allows my work to represent nature as portraiture as opposed to traditional landscapes. My work utilizes black and white images along with techniques which incorporate visual and physical layers such as collages, books, and double exposures to reframe a familiar encounter. My use of individually crafted handmade books creates a more personalized experience for the viewer, allowing them to closely look at and interact with the photographs. Through the experience of handling a uniquely made object, the viewer is able to observe themself in a material object creating a sort of connection between viewer and art. This connection allows for sympathy to grow within the viewer, driving home the idea of my art which is to compare nature to the human experience.
Self portraiture, in a variety of forms, has been the driving force behind my work. I create these in an effort to understand my connection to my physical form as an extension of who I am, while attempting to question the limitations and definitions of self portraiture. While some are representations of self, others act as characterizations, the line between the two often blurring for both myself and the viewer. These works mainly exist in black and white or limited color to reveal the transformations and distortions that light and shadow impart on the body. The imagery seeks to explore my relationship to light, my relationship to my body, and, in turn, their relation to each other. Light is both important to my work in concept and imagery as well as in process, as methods like film and cyanotype require it in their creation. Photography has a distinctual ability to depict the subtleties of light, shadow, and form, and thus, the work reflects how each affects and changes the interpretation of the human body. I aim to discover if a suggestion or characterization of the body can be as much a representation of self as one’s immediately recognizable physical form.