Cultivator asks five questions of each exhibiting artist in order to provide a deeper understanding of their art.
1. Cultivator is honored to have you participate in our program. We're excited to see what you will be creating from your site visits to Bray Grove Farm. Could you tell us a bit about how your art relates to the location?
Learning about Bray Grove Farm as a small sustainable farm made me excited, proud and weary. Knowing that this farm is worked privately and peacefully without machines or pesticides while surrounded by large agri-business made me consider time with this land, efforts to change the idea of farming and how tremendous the challenges must be. We are all caretakers for a short time whether it be with a farm, house, children, careers, relationships or things. It is how humans find meaning and purpose. It is hands on, hard, beautiful and passing. I believe connections are the real gesture.
As an abstract painter, my lines and forms are purposeful but ultimately flow freely. They echo nature in the manner of water, air, body, plant or land. The references aren’t literal, they evolve from memory, the mark at hand or a sense of place in time. In the setting of Bray Grove Farm, I think about what it must be like to embrace the challenges of the physical work, the business of it, the weather, and how that might provide at times a sense of loss as well as sense of deep satisfaction. The straight lines of the house, barn, fields and the line of trees thoughtfully planted to redirect the air as a wind break are placed on ever changing piece of land, prone to natural and human circumstances. Painting for this place, I am introducing my gesture to physically interact with what is there. My painting will wrap around the trees like a ribbon, it may tear in the wind, or wash away. As the piece overwhelmed me in size in the studio, it will become a footnote to a vast landscape.
I’ve made temporary paintings before and I love this. For me, it puts what painting can be into perspective. I’ve made many works on canvas and paper and enjoy that studio practice very much. I’ve also made wall paintings that were ultimately painted over and have had people ask me if instead they could cut up the wall and re-install. The intention being to “keep it”. That fascinates me.
The main painting will stretch well over 100 feet in length. I have kept my materials light and somewhat monochromatic to spare expense and economize time. Made in a series of 5’ x 30’ panels, it has been rolled up as it has been created. I will not have not seen the entire painting until installation day.
Have and Hold is a visual effort to create a conversation to the place, activity and beauty of Bray Grove Farm. It is date stamped. It will be in the elements. It will be an experience. This is how I see art all the time.
I have a number of large paintings I put on hold the last two months to create the work for Cultivator, so I plan to pick up where I left off with them. Next, I am planning my third exhibition with Grolle:Pass:Projects in Wuppertal, Germany in 2020. If the Cultivator installation meets my expectations, I may consider bringing “Have and Hold” there!
Although I really love cauliflower and have known all my life that it is has been underrated, my favorite vegetable may indeed be the pea. Growing up in a large family in the early seventies, my parents and nana whipped out dinners for a family of eight, keeping costs down and pantry full with vegetables that were store-bought canned; canned mushrooms, canned corn, canned green beans, and of course canned peas.
When my father would take us kids to the farmers market in the summer, it was a real treat. I remember the huge box truck filled to the top with corn that cascaded down to the tailgate where you could bag your selections. But more fondly, I remember the gigantic bag of peas he would buy. We’d bring it all home and us kids would sit on the front porch shucking corn and popping those peas. There was nothing like eating them right out of the pods. They were sweet, crunchy and nothing like the canned version. We would would eat them together with our hearts and tummies content.