PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
I am an observer and a maker. My work is a reflection of the world as I perceive it and therefore takes on a narrative quality. I have always been most articulate visually, and the physical process of making facilitates the examination of my initial observations as a kind of therapeutic research method. Working in contemporary craft, primarily metals and jewelry, carries a tangible, familiar quality that allows me to speak intimately about the human experience.
I have always had an interest in discovering the meaning of culture: what to me comes down to the differences in the ways people interact inside a society. In college I jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain and returned after graduating to live there for a year. I used my investigation and interpretation of Spanish society to reexamine my own upbringing in the American suburbs and gained a new level of comprehension and criticism of the world from which I came. I began to search for a sense of belonging, purpose and larger cultural identity in the expanse of vapid, pristine cul-de-sacs of my hometown. Feeling a distinct emptiness in that space I looked to my ancestry and developed a fascination with my great-grandparents’ immigration from Italy, their establishment of a family farm operated by their twelve children, and the enormous ever-expanding lineage of which I am a part.
Having established a connection to the past, I returned my focus to the structures of suburbia – the homes, the fences, the cul-de-sacs. Suburbia is the prototype of American values of homogeneity, stability, order and self-discipline; it is easy to critique. Yet somewhere amid this restrictive, sanitized space sits my home where my own personal history was written. It created me. It created many of us. We inject our human realities into these prescribed habitats and live inside them authentically and sincerely. There is an osmosis that occurs. Through wearable objects, sculpture, performance and installation I seek to reveal how those structures seep into our subconscious and affect our modes of thinking and living, and how our humanness seeps back into them.