I am an interdisciplinary artist—a contemplative, relationary, communionary artist—currently based out of Bozeman, Montana. I grew up in the wild beauty of Paradise Valley, Montana and was a creator ever since I can remember. Through the years, I have found many different interests and methods to express my creativity, from my photographs to sculpture, from writing to my bespoke garments. Although the me of each moment is constantly evolving, some the constant threads that weave through are a passion for creating, a love of teaching and a joy in the extraordinary in the ordinary.
My art is relationary, contemplative, communionary. I currently work primarily in the mediums of textiles and fiber arts, photography and words. All life is a gathering of relationships. In my effort to understand life—this magical, painful, wondrous, bewildering, teeming, ordinary, extraordinary experience that I am a part of—I explore, depict, contemplate, and commune with relationships that compose life. These relationships are with myself, with others, between others, with the natural world, with the Divine, with creativity, with life itself.
My art celebrates the extraordinary—the beauty, the child-like magic—in what is often termed the ordinary in life. It deals with emotions; emotional exploration, emotional literacy, intuition. When it encounters, or takes as its subject matter, “tough stuff”—the things that humans shy away from because of shame, pain, apathy, anger, helplessness, conditioned avoidance, prejudice—I take a reparative aesthetic approach, one that uses beauty to “seduce” the viewer into contemplating and communing with the discomfort.
My art is a method by which I creatively transform the traumas I have encountered in life. It is my plea to be witnessed first by myself and then by others, to be seen; and if in this healing process my work becomes of value and assistance to others on their own healing journey then I am truly grateful. In my art, I choose mediums that have a tactile, kinesthetic quality; a weight of tradition and a deliberate, precise care with the mobility of innovation. I bring into communion disparate threads—past and present; historical/traditional practices and contemporary innovation; the natural world and modern society; emotions and those who would ignore them; the ordinary with the extraordinary.
Relationary: belonging to, pertaining to, or connected with relation or relationships; engaged in/with relation and relationships.
Relationary art is art that takes as its subject, its inspiration, or its form from relation or relationships. It is art that belongs to, pertains to or is connected with relation or relationships; is art that is engaged in/with relation and relationships.
Contemplative: given to or characterized by contemplation—the act of contemplating, thoughtful observation; full or deep consideration, reflection; the act of considering with attention; the act of regarding steadily; purpose or intention.
Contemplative art is art in which both the process and/or the product deal with contemplation. It is art that involves thoughtful observation, full or deep reflection, and considering with attention. It is the process and the art that emerges from mindfully being present and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary all around.
Commune: to be in intimate communication or rapport; to converse or talk together, usually with profound intensity, intimacy; to interchange thoughts or feelings; to feel in close spiritual contact.
Communionary art is the practice of creating art, and that art that is created, from a place of an embodied communing with life, of being absorbed fully, intimately into living. It is about being in love with the world, embracing that rapport and sharing it with others.
A theory of aesthetics articulated by Susan Best in Reparative Aesthetics: Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography. Reparative aesthetics is an approach to making art—specifically politically, socially-engaged art or art that deals with topics that are challenging, uncomfortable and shame-provoking—in such a way as to “seduce” the viewer aesthetically with beauty, assisting the viewer to engage and dwell with the subject matter and the discomfort it could arouse.