MIXED MEDIA COLLAGE

COLLAGE & ASSEMBLAGE

When I was a child I learned to bury my feelings. I learned this from my mother and father, my grandparents, brothers and sisters, and other significant adults in my young life. This burying of feelings was radically reinforced by the nuns I first encountered at St. John’s School in Des Moines. Having learned my lesson well, I adjusted my outward behavior so that it adapted correctly to the family’s pattern of stuffing away anything that might be painful. In my quiet, shy, aloneness state, I expressed myself through my art.

As an adult, I now allow my inner child to have her own voice and I have learned to release myself from a sharp, limiting, uncomfortable sense of time and space that I once found to be secure. I have expanded my space by eliminating finite edges, and by allowing myself to do away with the tendency to get lost in the confines of the rectangular. My collages are made up of found materials — scraps of posters clinging to walls that I gather during my travels throughout the world — which are repositioned in an overlay of words and images. These layers of worn and faded fragments reflect my buried childhood memories, dreams, and fantasies. The discarded objects such as broken toys, abandoned appliances, dilapidated chairs, old clothing, and books, speak a similar language in the sculptural forms and installations I create. I am moving through the layers and revealing myself. I am on a journey, an adventure that is continually changing form.

In relating my work to a larger context of art, I point to several artists as having influenced my own artistic development: the constructions, combines, and ready-mades of found objects and text were a basic part of the artworks created by Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Beuys, Joseph Cornell, Deiter Rot, and Robert Rauschenberg. As in their art, my collages include fragments of graffiti-like scribbles, words, phrases, or images that appear to be unimportant and often ambiguous. No element is greater than another. Each element has its own qualities and works together to make a whole.

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