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Artist ID: 2355

Discarded and forgotten objects are reconfigured, braiding themes of memory, place, identity, and environmental issues; encouraging a shift in perspective. The process disguises the object’s original form and purpose and brings forward new narratives.The challenges and contradictions of this modern age are always in the back of my mind as I work. Cultural pressures, political drama, algorithms, automation —and now a pandemic are changing our relationship to the planet and each other. The driving force behind my creative process is the idea that the past cannot be buried. Nothing can be thrown away. There is no away. I am drawn to the neglected and forgotten objects we toss aside and through the process of re-creation, ghosts, bad dreams, and bogeymen are confronted. Discarded and forgotten objects are charged with a new purpose, encoded with healing stories and used to encourage a shift in perspective. Through this redirection of energy and the transformative alchemical processes of photography, drawing, collage, sewing and assemblage, I weave stories, braiding themes of memory, place, identity, community and environmental issues. The reconfiguration process disguises the object’s original form and purpose and brings forward new narratives in a poetic manner. I work to make these new pieces meaningful through transformation.

These story quilts were completed while socially isolating during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The Brambly Thicket is the name I’ve given to my home in a rambling five-acre wood in Alabama. After being forced to close up my studio in a collective makerspace, to come home to work as the news of the world got weirder and scarier, the concept of the Brambly Thicket also evolved as a metaphor for the prickly political climate of my home state and country during these complicated times. While disconnected from other people outside of my immediate family, and growing increasingly anxious about politics and the pandemic, I spent hours walking in the woods, observing and learning about the flora and fauna as a way of alleviating stress. Because I’d just walked away from my studio when the country went into lockdown, leaving behind all of my work and supplies, I started making art with materials I had on hand at home. I began cutting up old clothes and fabric scraps. In the tradition of crazy and string quilting, I started using the scraps to depict scenes in the woods that served as a buffer between me and the outside world during this age of political strife and a global pandemic. This improvised process of making feels like a hopeful, restorative act in our complicated times.

I am a multidisciplinary storyteller living and working in Birmingham, Alabama. I hold a B.A. from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a concentration in Visual Arts and Creative Writing. I am a member of the Alabama Women’s Caucus for Art and the Ground Floor Contemporary artist cooperative. I keep my studio at the Commonplace Woodlawn community studio in Birmingham. Responsive to the environment and times in which I live, the recurring themes of memory, liminality, identity and place inhabit my work.

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