The Natural World
Though I did not set out to do so, the natural environment and our relationship to it has entered my work. It began with my use of burnt paper as a material starting in 1996, when I first had a wood stove. The paper remains after a fire, especially those from my first inefficient stove, surprised me with their beauty and range of color. Beyond the aesthetics, I came to appreciate the economy of resource. Burnt paper is a waste product I can adapt to a valuable personal purpose, turning it into pigment, texture and a means of representation. The rich, deep surfaces it creates seem alchemical and thrilling. The more the issues of resources and waste enter our lives, the more appropriate the paper feels as a material.
Living by the ocean as I do, I am constantly aware of the point where the sea meets the land, how it changes, how life emerged from one onto the other, and how fragile and crucial the balance between the two is, especially in our time of climate change. I began to bring burnt paper together with those inexact lines between air and water, and water and land, and the lines came to hold the sadness I feel about human selfishness to our world.
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