Collage allows for multiple realities to exist in one piece. Through cutting and arranging the various elements, each composition comes to life. Movement is implied through placement and juxtaposition of the collage elements as well as brushstrokes which record the action of the hand. Each of these collages is an alternate reality that emerged from my life experiences, observations, and memories. I am working to decolonize my thinking and my creative process.
It is my fervent desire that upon seeing and reflecting on this body of work, you will be inspired to reflect on your own stories, both personal and cultural. Until we confront the wounds of our personal and collective past we will never heal individually or as a society. It takes courage to do so. My mind and heart says it is the only way forward. Art can be the glue that binds us, and it can be a force for good.
Night Blues. Honoring the energy of night in my garden. As a woman I have not always felt safe outdoors in the dark. Here I am exploring the light of the moon and taking back the night as a vibrant creative space. I can be safe out in the world at nighttime. The night is a garden of delights.
Remembering RBG. This collage came together intuitively. I created it just after learning of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing. While there is nothing explicit in the collage that explicitly references RBG, it is my own reflection on her legacy. The window with blue sky, feathers floating, light and flowers all suggest the passage of time. The antique tea cup says something about the past and gentility. The skeleton key talks about opening up the past and making it part of our present. the vase of flowers exists but the woman pictured, my avatar, turns away from beauty. Rather, her mind is on truth and justice. What will happen now that we no longer have RBG on the court to protect women? What will happen to her legacy?
All of what is now the state of Maine is the ancestral home of the Wabanaki confederacy, the Penobscot, Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy First Nations peoples. Blueberry Hill is located on the Schoodic Penninsula in downeast Maine. During my artist residency at Acadia National Park I spent many mornings at Blueberry Hill. This collage shows a view of the land looking away from the cobble beach toward Schoodic Head. I was there in late April after winter’s snow had faded but before the greenery of spring appeared.
This small landscape collage, 8 1/4 x 11 inches, emerged just as I returned to the studio in earnest after retiring from teaching public school. The urgency of this work may not show in the soft textures and muted tones but it came together almost without effort. I had seen it in my minds eye for some time.