I began using worn clothing as the primary material in my sculptures because I realized they, without being manipulated in the studio, are already artifacts of one’s personal history. Being worn in everyday life, clothing picks up marks, stains, and tears that parallel the marks artists make in their studios. I aim to highlight the documentational quality that clothing inherently holds as well as explore the personal and public relationships we have with our possessions.
When clothing is put onto the body, it is animated. I immediately recognize the clothing’s agency as a new form because of its likeness to our own bodily form. I am interested in how clothing takes on a life and consciousness via forming around a bodily shape and by being moved by a person’s limbs. With this in mind for this body of work, my process has turned into a place of advocacy for the garments I work with. Thinking of the clothing as animate and conscious, I have also become aware of the unbalanced power dynamic in my relationship with it. This awareness leads my process. I am thinking about what is best for the art aesthetically, but also what is best for the material. How are these forms, with an essence separate from mine, most dutifully and appropriately portrayed?
A goal of mine is to have an internally sustained studio practice where my materials are reused from sculpture to sculpture. When these pieces come down, they will be made into new work. And after that, the process will repeat itself. I think this process honors the material and begins to balance our relationship. The garments and I do similar things for each other. We give each other purpose and we do not abandon each other. We feel moral obligation or guilt towards other people, but most of the time we overlook how we treat our surroundings. Many of the work’s offshooting narratives that have become important for me have developed as a side effect of treating the work as its own living thing. If there is anything that I hope is translated in my work, it is that there is immense care in its tending.