I started working with newspaper in 2009 when the Seattle PI closed and the New York Times was in jeopardy. At that time I came to appreciate how vital the newspaper is in providing us such an important and visceral connection to the human story. With images and stories in hand, the newspaper offers us the harshness of our world, our tragedies and our failures, but also our aspirations, our brilliance and inspiration for greatness. Through it we encounter society, our country, and our world. I believe this encounter is so important in keeping us connected and sensitive toward one another.
In creating my work I concentrate on the structuring of surface, volume, light/ shadow, and materiality. Through the dense accumulations of layer upon layer of newspaper I attempt to create a felt sense of the density of our collective experience and the psychic immensity of all the stories contained within the piece. I work toward an encounter and contemplation rather than a narrative. In fact I obscure the narrative/story content with black ink as a gesture of respect, creating a veil of privacy for those who stories we have the privilege to experience. While serving as a veil the black ink also creates a luminescent that contains light amid the darkness.
I employ sewing and weaving into many of my pieces as a personal practice of hope--of binding and mending us together, over and over like a beloved mantra. The newspaper delivers a tactile encounter with the known and unknown that keeps us alert, awed and humbled. It challenges us to not turn away.