This current body of work focuses on the effects of both natural and man-made disasters effecting the Gulf coast. I was especially struck by the images that poured in from the media from the BP Oil spill many years ago. I didn’t recognize places that I once called home, I didn’t recognize places that I played as a kid and young adult, but like a train wreck, I couldn’t turn away. Finally, after visiting the homestead and seeing with my own eyes the reality, I reentered my studio to try to make sense of the tragedies.
Recently ravaged only a year before by a series of hurricanes (Katrina and Ike), I felt like I was visiting a place that was literally bitten by a curse. Not only were people displaced with homes and lives destroyed, but animals and delicate plant-life were wiped away – maybe never to return as well.
I was shocked to see in the neighborhood where I grew up; neighbors still using a mattress as a front door, some with boards for windows, rusted cars and demolished garages still gutted and not rebuilt. Dead fish and globs of oil still coat the sand on my favorite childhood beach. Hotels and fishing piers are gone forever. Life on the Texas Gulf Coast will never be the same. BP sealed the deal.
The work I make today is a constant reminder of what a delicate balance the cycle of life is. I make work using encaustic, layered with a variety of collage materials and oil paint. I love the way the wax encapsulates the feathers, leaves or lace and creates a natural depth that one can look into and through. I love the reflective nature of the wax. I use wooden panels and combine them in different ways to create a dialog or a narrative the way one would weave a tale to warn those of things to come or how things once were.