When I’m starting a painting or taking notes for a poem, I try to lean into the feeling or instinct in my body that arises around the subject. I think of it as creating an emotional landscape, making visible or audible an experience or sensation. There is always a foreground, middle ground, and background, even if they aren’t discernable to viewer. This allows me to build a logic that is at once deeply personal and also open to interpretation by a viewer or reader. I don’t need people to “get” one specific thing from looking at my work. In my paintings, gestural marks create visual narratives or equations of thought patterns and psychical experiences through layering recurring patterns, shapes, and colors.
In my practice as an educator, writer, and artist, I think about the concept of home, (dis)location, and belonging. I’ve lived in 15 houses over the last 7 years. My heritage is German and Jewish but I was unaware of that until my 20’s because my mom’s family let go of their traditions and culture to assimilate. What do we carry inside us that makes a home? How do we externalize our emotional experiences and landscapes as a form of acceptance, healing, and release? How do culture and place inform our internal processes?
On the level of my community work and teaching, togetherness and connection with others is one of the major factors in investigating and creating belonging. I want to create artistic and educational spaces and experiences that allow everyone to feel like they belong, regardless of the permanence of the space, class, or work. Focusing on access, awareness, and accountability play a role in my responsibilities as a maker and teacher as ways to facilitate connection and belonging.