Created from the Worry Flowers series, each sculpture or installation begins as a 2-d calligraphy artwork. The flowers are cut and molded to form sculptures and installations. From small works contained in a bell jar to installations that spread over a whole room, each is a unique collection of words chosen to convey specific ideas.
ON HOME AND DISAPPEARANCE
Embroidery, calligraphy, spray paint, wire, cut acetate, 15x40x60”, 2023
The 2023 show “Altneueland” at the Museo Ebraico celebrates the 100th anniversary of Theodore Herzl’s book of that title, envisioning what a modern, sovereign homeland for the Jewish people could look like. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the historic Jewish community of Lecce, Italy. Artists were asked to create site specific works based on this theme.
This work is about the consequences of not having a secure, permanent place in life. Referencing both the Jewish community of Lecce (who were expelled during the Inquisition in the 1500s) and Middle Eastern Jews, who were subjected to the same process in the last century. The flowers are made of Arabic words like acceptance, permancence, posterity and security, things these people did not have. Painted to match the stone of the museum (the community’s former synagogue), the flowers are intentionally left partially unpainted so they appear to be dissipating. This and the precarious way they are suspended in midiar evokes the fragile nature of our security, of lack thereof. Flowers are an ideal choice for reinforcing this fragility as they contain inherent tension, representing youth, hope and beauty but also impermanence and death. Embroidery hoops provide the framework, in a nod to the original Lecce community who were known during the Middle Ages for their work in the textile industry.
Even if Israel today isn’t perfect, its effect on people the world over is a force to be reckoned with and appreciated by those who know all too well what the lack of it can mean.
THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH
2023 (in progress), Spray paint on stencil film, floral grid. pictured areas: 22x22x10” and 13x15x25”, Individual flowers 3x3x3”
The finished size of this installation is site specific.
A large-scale project currently in progress, these flowers are a twisted menagerie, giving visual expression to the dangers of gathering our problems around us and keeping them close. The flowers manifest the gentle balance between beauty and pain, benefit and drawback, and disguising hardship with falsity. Each component is formed from a single repeated word in Arabic for various anxieties or burdens. Cut, then brightly painted, their stems and leaves are sculpted using rough-edged wire. Forming undulations, arches and overhangs, they cover parts of the wall and ceiling. The growth will continue onto the floor, making it almost impossible to walk a narrow path through the sprawl. They will likewise cover objects placed within the space, engulfing them in an inescapable, choking force of terrible beauty.
Words used here are Despair, Anxiety, Distraction, Diversion, Doubt, Hope, Love, Lonliness, Desperation, Caring, Anger, Anguish, Tasks, Responsibilities, Decisions, and Infatuation. Each is a burden in its own way. Overall the effect is bright and attractive, yet the underlying metal structure is barbed with thorns. It's a reference to the human tendency to self-identify with our issues and allow them to overtake us. By giving these burdens visual expression and drawing attention to this underlying tension, this immersive installation encourages viewers to examine their relationship with the direction of their own emotional energies.
2023, Mixed Media (Cut paper, Calligraphy, Spray Paint, Wire)
A collection of sculptural works which evoke their own meaning based on the words they contain. Words like Infatuation, Distraction, Love, Duty, Tasks, Eternal, Security, and Anger come together in different arrangements.