Murmuration displays ceaseless, continuous change; flocks’ movement relies on trust, collaboration, and improvisation. The birds shape-shift into unexpected patterns, dismantling and reconfiguring, always on the edge of transformation. On my morning walk, I ponder murmuration and reflect on my partner, her movements, and the boundaries of those movements. My collaborator, in life and work, lives her life mostly indoors due to her disability. Outside, I note the topography: The contours of the landscape slope and rise, bodies of water and landmasses flow and roll into one another, the prodigious profiles of cityscape and countryside collide, and the clay and mud ripple in the earth beneath me. I wonder how nuanced fluctuations of movement in expansive landscapes can be shared with those of us who exist within constrained environments?
I make discursive vessels that reference bodies as individuals, collective groups, governing systems, bodies of water and land, and bodies of evidence. These containers are an axis upon which viewpoint and significance turn. Meaning and perspective maneuver through culturally defined boundaries of power, capacity, and normativity and manifest as either inhibition or freedom. The former marginalizes, constricts, and closes borders, while the latter dismantles, and provides access. I consider these concepts within three discrete bodies of work. Through fragmented forms, allegoric containers, and mundane assemblages, I explore mutable topographies of systemically obfuscated interior terrains and dominant exterior perspectives. I aim to reveal stories erased through past and ongoing repression.
I live in a county where the prison and a center for people with disabilities are the largest institutional structures. As communities, we can criminalize, stigmatize, and incarcerate, erect rigid confines, and designate borders. Or, through collective endeavor, we can provide access, allow movement, and foster an interdependent web of supportive resources. Last summer I worked as the resident artist at the center for people with disabilities, a multidisciplinary program that nurtures collaborative, creative inquiry among people with disabilities, students, and area residents. In this accessible, inventive space woven into the fabric of the region, I began to explore the possibility of using clay to record and translate movements—both fleeting and glacial—of the landscape on my walk.