Points of Light: 2015 Lenten commission for Mt. Tabor Lutheran Churche, Salt Lake City, UT.
Our sufferings do not magically end; instead we are able to wisely alchemically recycle them. They become the abundant waste that we use to make new growth possible. – bell hooks*
Points of Light explores a liminal landscape and union that lies between lived experience and inner emotional journeying. The emotional landscape in the work relies on the metaphor of a tear as a physical manifestation of emotion. If the salinity of the body—and thereby the make-up of tears—is akin to that of an ocean, metaphorically the body is part emotional sea. Tears are fleeting phenomena and tears are the opportunity to witness emotions manifested as tiny, salty droplets. When the tears have fallen, they collect into a sea that dries up, and the salt from the fallen tears crystallize, leaving evidence of the emotion that spilled forth in a process called efflorescence. The accumulated efflorescence becomes both the map and the landscape and is then documented by blueprints of the inner emotional landscape.
Process and meaning become intricately woven in this work. Cyanotype is an early photographic process resulting in a blueprint image. With exposure to the sun an image develops—the lighter spots on the cyanotype are the result of the sun’s light being masked out by the silk and salt and the darker spots are the result of greater exposure to sunlight. The image emerges when it is brought into light, but it is the addition of water that stops the exposure process and captures the image before it could fade away into darkness. The beauty of the cyanotype is that the deeper and darker the color the greater the light appears in relation, allowing for points of light emerge, and depth to take form.
As an artist, I find that there is the opportunity to create via a “magical process”—using an item of little value and transforming it into something of great meaning—which is central to my work. I transform my own difficult, yet often common, experiences into meaningful expressions by selecting simple and abundant materials such as household goods, garments, thread, plants, and salt, and transforming them via an alchemical-esque process. The edges of my work may be frayed or inconsistent, but it is within these flaws that humanity is evident. We are each one thread in a greater woven structure; we are just one point of light within the world.