If I had to explain my work in two words, the first would be dependency. My two interlocking doors/figures demonstrate this quite literally.
The second word would be design. Design dominates in my deliberate arrangements of elements be they conscious or intuitive. Design is also the scaffold underlying all dependency.
I wanted to work with the bandanas for several years. Although, these common manufactured cloths are iconic for American Western Culture, international fashion and corporate industry, in my life, they are an intimate part of my ritual of caretaking. These bandanas have been used as part of the dressing that protects my son’s tracheostomy. They also provide a barrier for those who come close enough to him and find themselves in the line of fire, should he cough into their faces. In this instance the bandana is a filter.
I took that filter and, like the doors, removed it from its purpose, and gave it the opportunity to have another.
Folding these used bandanas into lotus shapes reminded me of the folded paper games I played as a girl- the ones that were supposed to tell us our futures- would we get married, how many children would we have, whether or not we’d be rich and so forth. People who came to the installation commented on how they were reminded of this same childhood activity.
The painted doors and their patterned hardware are not much different from the bandanas and their endless possibilities of patterns. For starters, both are common. Both are utilitarian. And, both have been paired by the less common materials I have taken from medical supplies necessary to sustain life.
I took some of the bandana patterns and translated them into small mixed media paintings and collectibles that toy with objects of domesticity and popular culture that are directly imbued with the plastics and rubbers of our medical supplies: a catheter, IV syringe, suction tip, aspirator tubing…. For me, the work is demonstrative of the details that go into quality caregiving that isn’t sloppy or haphazard.
Making this work separates me from the part of myself driven by thought. It offers silence as I detail the surfaces, crease the folds and combine things that seem unrelated. By mixing these used objects of medical necessity with paint and narrative I hope to give them alternative and less expected ways to be seen and experienced, much like my family and me.
One Step Removed was shown at Flux Art Space in Long Beach, CA. This installation is available for travel and expansion.