Despair bursts forth, uncontained. I feel caught, netted, in the tangles of my emotions. 380,000 dead (and counting) in the U.S. A. from the covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice and violence, climate change, white supremacy, voter suppression, so many lies, unemployment, recession, and wildfires – how can anyone be expected to contain their despair over these situations? Yet we ought to look closely to see them for what they are.
Repetitive tasks such as crochet, netting and twining are soothing, meditative, they keep my fingers occupied and my eyes away from the news. I feel better now.
Sanctuary invites you to imagine yourself in a special place hidden in the forest where you can retreat from daily cares, immerse yourself in natural beauty, and replenish your soul.
Received the 6 Bridges Gallery Award in January 2021.
Collaboration with Laurie Bogdan for 2020 Art Ramble in Concord, MA
Materials: nylon rope, fused plastic bags, Tyvek, acrylic paint, garden stakes
view from west
Pain Containment Pod #2: Left Foot
I’ve been living with persistent pain from an assortment of causes for most of my life. I am not alone. Most of us experience pain intermittently, some of us bear with it regularly and others survive it incessantly. We all witness it. Whatever its source, whether physical, psychological or metaphysical, pain is dangerous, debilitating, draining, depressing.
Wouldn’t life be so much better if we could only grab onto pain, remove it from the place it is causing suffering and contain it safely away?
That’s what I am attempting to do with Pain Containment Pod #1: Right Knee and Pain Containment Pod #2: Left Foot
Pain Containment Pod # 2: Left Foot
Materials: fiber splint, fiber rush, kinesiology tape, medical tape, hemp cord, artificial sinew, wire, fiber-reactive dye, acrylic paint, plastic arch support from orthotic, Icy Hot applicator, naproxen sodium, turmeric capsules, acetaminophen, acupuncture needles.
2020, 11" h x 12" w x 15" d
Pain Containment Pod #1: Right Knee
Materials: hand-dyed reed and bamboo skewers, elastic resistance bands, acrylic paint, glucosamine chondroitin, naproxen sodium, pill bottles, ginger tea wrappers, turmeric capsules, elastic bandage, hypodermic syringe. 2019, 16" h x 12" w x 11" d
Pain Containment Pod #1: Right Knee, back
A Walk by the River
Created as part of a group work called “Out for a Walk” with four other artists for an exhibit of touchable art, “A Walk by the River” expresses my delight in the natural world using basketry techniques and materials. My goal was to produce a work in vivid colors and textures that illustrates the serenity as well as the vitality and movement of trees and water. I hope you want to touch this work. It’s okay, go ahead and touch it!
A Walk by the River, detail
Hand-dyed flat oval, round, and oval oval reed, waxed thread, 2018, 52"h x 35" w x 8"d
Joys and Sorrows
So many of my memories are entwined with the nature sanctuary Habitat in Belmont, MA. My fiancé and I fell in love with this place and chose to wed there under the cherry tree in the formal garden. It was May and its pink blossoms were at their height. I like to remember it as a perfect day, but like all memories, it has unraveled a little, like the strips of fabric from my gown. I don’t mind this, I am happy with the fluidity of memories. Let them sway and tangle and untangle.
The beauty of Habitat and the happy memories I started there have lured me to visit regularly. The tranquility I have found there has also provided comfort for many sorrows, large and small, that inevitably come with living. Hovering near the trunk are the dangling ghosts of those who are no longer present in my physical life. Yet each flower is a joy.
Materials: reed, twigs, roots, prunings, ribbon, yarn, strips from my wedding dress, paint
22" w x 20" d x 18" h
Fecundity playfully represents a bursting basketry seedpod heavy with paper pulp seeds. I began this piece as a technical exercise to see what would come of combining multiple basket bases. As the work progressed it decided to become a seedpod. Nature has long been inspiration to me, so it wasn't surprising to have this piece take a natural form.
Fiber rush, unryu paper, flat reed, paper pulp, acrylic medium, 2018, 17" w x 14" d x 12" h
I began this work in response to the Pussyhat movement and refined it in response to the #MeToo movement. The cathead basket is an elegant vessel containing the shock, fear and anger I experienced during and after the 2016 election. I was gratified by the outpouring of solidarity among women, which continued with the #MeToo movement. Yet I felt unconscious pressure to join this movement. Not all women are ready to share their experiences of violation with the worldwide audience. For some the abuse is too fresh, too painful to reveal. Women need not sacrifice their privacy and mental health to further an important movement. And that’s all I’m going to say.
Twill-plaited, painted paper cathead basket with rolled rim and silk cover embellished with dimensional silk vulva and ribbons and painted phrases. 2018, 10" w x 12" d x 9" h
Pussyhat Basket, back