Skimming Boundaries

2017

Every civilization has asked, “From where do we come and where do we go?” Myths are passed down through generations, explaining the intangible world of the spirit and making the boundary between this world and what lies beyond seem viscous, permeable. Religion maps out worlds of before and after death, but even the most secular are confronted with these questions: What is the journey of this passage?  Where are the edges?  Does the essence of a person remain when life is gone?  In this series, I search for what is felt but unseen.

The color in these drawings comes from natural dyes.  Fruits and vegetables such as raspberries and cabbage are boiled and poured over mordanted paper, resulting in permanent reds, blues, and greens.  Rocks provide tones of sepia and simultaneously act as a resist, allowing the places they weigh down in the paper to remain white.  Sometimes paper is buried overnight and exposed to the rain or wrapped around trees to capture the imprint of bark.

Once the paper is stained, the charcoal drawings incorporate the colors and marks from the dye into the final work.  The resulting pieces reveal a double image – one that depicts an event of discovery or searching and one that hints at a spiritual world.  Sometimes the latter exists only on the fringes, as in Cascading Thresholds.  Other times, the figure interacts with the spirit world, as in Searching the Edges.  There are drawings that show the figure inside an incorporeal place peering out, as in The Other Side. This series is a result of searching for meaning while contemplating what may lie beyond.