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Artist Statement

I grew up in a household where I needed to be small.

I folded into myself, a misguided origami, shrinking as much as possible in the hopes that I would disturb no one. From my crimped and crinkled viewpoint, I observed, hypervigilant and ever on edge. Would a furrowed brow become a confrontation? Would a frustrated sigh become a scream? I attune myself to the emotional states of others so acutely that it’s as if I feel them myself. I take it into my own body, the rage, the anxiety, the sadness, the stress. I store those emotions in my muscles until I’m sore.

Art is my release, an unfolding and an exorcism, a way to purge these accumulated feelings from myself. My work is large and frenetic, my hand leaving ghosts of brushes thrown, fingernails scraped, a chest heaving. Lines carved through impasto, violent splashes of iron oxide, and slashes of paint become the twisted stems and stalks of dried reeds, of sunflowers, of a body in a field. The scale is a reclamation of space in service to movement.

Nature is my haven. The reeds have no demands of me; the trees cannot yell. Wilderness is the place where anxiety transforms into peace. It is stillness, it is comfort. But it is also inherently violent, all nurturing yet unforgiving. The dead and dying mother new life. The body becomes part of the earth, dissolving into grass. It is both consumed and protected, it is comfort and anxiety, it is life and death. These are not opposites but two parts of a whole. This space, between contradiction, is where we feel things that are impossible to name and where we seek to make sense of ourselves. My figures come to rest there, wrapped in reeds, finding peace amid chaos.

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