My artistic practice examines the construction and manipulation of identity in contemporary society. My work explores a link between human beings and the natural world where the result is not an inherent abjection, or abasement, but a means of escape from the constraints of Western society in search of our most potent selves. I employ narrative and the animal to disturb conventional ideas of identity and explore issues such as sexual orientation, power relationships, and designated roles within intimate relationships or communities.
Today, the animal exists as a spectacle, a raw material, a commodity, and an exploited entity, simultaneously revered and threatened by a human presence. Through my practice, I aim to remind the viewer not just of the conspicuous absence of the unburdened animal in contemporary society, but of the disavowal of our animal selves. This separation from the natural world has created a rift in our human consciousness. For it is in retuning the gaze of an animal that we are aware of our own humanity. This disconnection began as a migration from rural to urban and has resulted in a disassociation from nature, and a continued excision of those aspects of our humanity considered to be animal, or base. In doing so we have lost the most primal, communal, visceral, and potent aspects of human experience, isolating us from our truest selves and inhibiting our ability to survive emotionally and physically.
In my work the animals stand in for humans, blurring the boundaries in an act of reclamation of those previously suppressed animalistic aspects of ourselves. These artworks present documentation of a point in time, one where there exists no clearly defined past or foreseeable future, but that leaves a gap where the viewer is left to construct the narrative of both the context and the outcome. These questions linger, exposing suppressed thoughts and desires, and offer alternative definitions of what it means to be human. One that exists as an interlocutor between identities, offering us a window through which we can express our purest nature, and in doing so express a more universal and resilient narrative for human identity.
The use of bronze in my practice is an important conceptual choice as it inserts the inherent notions of tradition, value, and hierarchy associated with the medium into the narrative. This creates a contradiction between the material and the content, which avoids easy classification of my work as solely transgressive or Other. This opposition pushes the material to take on its own role within the larger work, while providing a point of access for the viewer.