The Animals are a connection with the duality of an animal’s existence, calm and wild, with our own human experience, organic and structured. Our existence is surrounded with organic forms and patterns that seemingly flow with nature yet we create artificial rules and boundaries for the way we live.
In the larger panels I have created a method of tying the organic and the rigid together by stitching together smaller prints in a grid to create the larger organic form of the animal. By using this method each piece is a creation of natural organic forms and textures juxtaposed against a constructivist grid. A process I call Panelism. The result is a meshing of the artificial and the organic.
The same constructed element of the work is in the matting and framing of the image. This process illustrates the boxing in, or surrounding the organic animal from a natural habitat. During the process the original background has been removed and an artificial one replaces it. The new background is composed of urban textures, concrete, oil stained parking spots, rusted and scratched metal, and soiled walls.
Memories, fantasies, daydreaming, and imagination were my playground as a youth. Childhood was a time where I could simply daydream and imagine far out wonderful things. Feeling I had lost some of the whimsical freedom of childhood imagination I began an exploration into these daydreams, the imaginary impossibilities. And as a result I’ve found these suppositions to be a bridge between childhood fantasy and adult “reality.”
Daydreams and impossibilities are commonplace in my mind. When a scene or story jumps into my consciousness I am felt compelled to act and collect source material. Once all the images are digitally cut up and the vision I had in my head begins to emerge on the screen I become elated. When I see with my eyes what I saw in my mind there is a connection I make to my childhood memories of imagination. Even then the image needs a soul. The use of texture gives me a sense of nostalgia, inviting warmth, intrigue, and breathes life into the pictures.
Using textures in my images helps me connect with my past imagination and to create a tactile invitation for me to become lost in my invented worlds. With this in mind I wanted to add more texture to a finished print, an encaustic wax medium. The application of the wax to a flat print further developed a connection between the image and myself by making the textures more alive and the story more real.
Creating a series of photographic illustrations to reconnect me to my childhood imagination has brought a new level of freedom. These images send me to a far out place where I can escape reality for a while and be a child again. They allow me to travel where there are no rules and anything can happen.