About the Work
detail of Ancient, Original, Modern Fables and Hares
I have always been interested in the remnants of the past found on old paper and how these pages document our ancestors’ attempts to affect their world. We think we have left behind many of the ideas recorded on these pages but they, along with old documents, letters and music pages, remind us of how often we repeat their efforts with often only a slight change in method.
It is these collaged sheets that create the background for my drawings. The words on the pages are the underpinning of the images I choose to lay on top. These can be pages can be from one book, a group of related letters, or a jumble of different, unrelated pieces of paper.
The images I place on these sheets can be animals - creatures who do with grace what humans try so hard to do with practice, or figures “assembled” from hats, hands, or feet and the outlines of clothing. Each image comments in its own way on the collaged pages.
The viewer can see the text as simply a patterned background or read the individual pages to understand how I have related the motifs I have chosen for the specific image to its text. This relationship can be ironic, humorous, sad or thoughtful.
The chalk is rubbed heavily into the sheet to get a rich deep tone. The curving lines bursting from each image provides movement. The motifs are as active as the collaged sheets underneath them.
Equally central are the formal aspects of the image - balance and pattern are important elements in each work. I find beauty in the old, yellowed and foxed paper, and in its stains and scribbles along with the birds, animals, hats or other elements on the paper and seek to arrange them on the sheet to emphasize this beauty.
I often use several sheets of collaged paper butted together to create a larger surface on which to draw. These multi-sheet works are reflective the pieced together nature of our memories of the past.
Although my drawings and collages are my interpretation of the text on the pages I have collaged together, the viewer is always free to determine their own relationship between the two.
My collages use images from old periodicals such as Life and Look magazines, which covered the people and issues of the day, rearranging these elements, creating new relationships among the images I have selected. I am not trying to change the world as I am not arrogant enough to assume that my efforts will do any such thing. I just want to point out that there are different ways of combining information to see the world, and to arrange a positive place in it for ourselves. By assembling the images, I select for each work in new, and sometimes seemingly absurd, ways I am pointing out our, sometimes absurd, choices we make in determining who or what is important to us and where we put our efforts. Maybe if we look closely at how we make our decisions, we will realize that there is certainly room for improvement. These collages are a small nudge.