Urban Exploring is a fulfilling adventure to collect, uncover, and give recognition to abandoned architecture. My interest in these structures that have been condemned and fallen into disrepute is a projection outside of myself onto something non-human to cope with my own experiences with familial abandonment. I use a variety of materials and methods of creation to depict the components of this tendency.
One of these methods is to take pride in place or in a physical structure rather than in the people within. For me, this is Atlanta. Hiding behind the guise of civic pride, I map the city and the places I have explored abandoned or not, the same way someone may map out their family tree.
Embroidery is best way to monumentalize these places and objects because it allows me to pour hours into their creation. Every stitch mirrors the physical movement in real time.
The family portrait, is a culmination of a series of abandoned chairs I collected (mostly viewed from the road while driving to Vermont in 2018). None of which were related to each other but find their commonality in the fact that they have been left by a dumpster, at the curb on collection day or even left behind when their home was demolished.
The chair, as an anthropomorphized container for a person itself becomes more than its objectivity and magnifies the story it tells. The signs of wear from continual, ritualistic usage tell a story that never ends, a narrative without a conclusion or resolution.
Sheltering Projects – As a result of the shelter in place ordinance this year, I have created an ongoing series of portraits. These lived in images of sofas, were sent to me from people all over the world Sheltering in Place via Instagram.
I tell the stories these chairs convey to me in a process I describe as portraiture. Instead of depicting them in their pristine, fresh-out-of-the packaging state, their wear and use are conveyed by the analog care taken to create each stich in the portraits. They become a point of memorial that allows the viewer a place to return.
Like a headstone, the physical object imbibes its spectral experiences as the original chair eventually finds its way out of the home in which it once resided.
As an exploration or illustration of the types of decay these explorations convey, the stained-glass sculptures, made of polygonal glass shards fitted together show a type of crystallization.
The objects I create therein are typically domestic objects that are intended to comfort and provide security as a type of luxury amenity. Depending on the scale they can be interpreted as either architectural or intimate. They are the four walls of your home or held in your hand.
For example, a soft pillow made of hard, sharp, & dangerous glass... or a lap blanket that has been tossed and shatters as it hits the ground.
These objects illustrate a lack of domestic security, while portraying the appearance of luxury.
The in-progress umbrella, is a personal shelter or portable architecture, that will provide little protection from rain or other elements.