Writing an artist statement for this project has probably been the most difficult college assignment I've had the pleasure of completing. So.difficult. However, I just submitted it to the design team, and I'm feeling pretty good about it right now, so here it is:
My work is driven by a need to connect with nature as a domesticated human in the post industrial landscape. Colonization, land use policy, outdoor recreation, ecology, and wilderness survival are my focus. I am inspired by traditional knowledge and scientific theory that considers humans to be a part of the Earth, and I am motivated by this inspiration to align my art with nature conservation. The work for my BFA show is a result of time spent in the forest and is made possible through collaboration with Michael Krochta and Rachel Freifelder of local conservation group Bark: Defenders of Mt. Hood, artist Gary Wiseman, and artist Tia Factor. My collaborative efforts are an attempt to mimic the symbiotic activity that keeps a forest ecosystem thriving.
As an artist, I think about the inherent qualities of material, processes that materials go through, and finding new mediums. To connect to nature through art, I have pursued the craft of making mediums from nature. As part of this pursuit, I have spent time in and around Mt. Hood National Forest learning about and collecting charcoal and sediment. Doing this has taught me that being in farmed forest means being in contact with an abundance of cultural remnants, ie garbage, and can lead to a nature disconnect. Not wanting to dismiss this, I have included remnants in my collection and used them as subject matter alongside studies of the landscape. I have found that visiting a site, wildcrafting materials to make mediums from, and making work about the site with the mediums has become a meaningful way for me to spend time in nature. Through this process, I can address my concern for the current condition of the forest and how it is impacted by public land management policy.
Feel free to comment! I would love some feedback.