My assemblages are three-dimensional collages, incorporating an expanded menu of found and purchased materials, including leaves and twigs, cigar boxes, cast plumbing parts, beads, stones, and rather decadent modular Vermont maple blocks. Nearly all visible color is cut-and-pasted paper, created using a process that is as much about feel as it is observation. Read More...
About My Assemblages
"Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters;
united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels."
Francisco Goya, 1746-1828
Two-dimensional collaging on paper had reached a limit for me, as I had used the tool to observe and celebrate my dreams, experiences, photographs, and poems for almost ten years. The book Tailings, Newly Esteemed served as a kind of punctuation mark to that era.
During the next one, I began to explore three-dimensional collaging, producing what are referred to as assemblages. Initially, I used 11 by 14-inch boards as a base, and restricted myself to using materials in my apartment. This meant paper imagery for sure, but also odd items like refrigerator door magnets, small toys and wood blocks
I shared evidence of this transition with a colleague, whose spouse was a collage artist, over coffee one day. She remarked that I would soon be seen walking the streets and parks of San Francisco, picking up leaves and stones and even more random items. I initially scoffed at this notion, but was soon doing exactly that.
In fact, it transformed the way I experienced time spent in parks, and craft and hardware stores. These journeys became hunts, and I found I was looking past the essential purpose of products like cast metal plumbing parts, wondering how I might use them in my construction projects.
Paying absolutely no attention to the very limited amount of space in my classic studio apartment, I decided to collage a 2 by 4-foot tabletop, then three pieces of Masonite, which I stiffened with a wooden frame. I attached things to a wooden wine crate, vintage side table, and bench. A limit was reached with What Cheer, Iowa, a sort of city on a table.
Constructing assemblages continued the pattern of using collage to grow, and learn about myself. It coincided with a significant period of family history research, during which I discovered the very strong craft thread that runs throughout my direct maternal and paternal ancestry.
Carpenters, shoemakers, marble workers, an electrician, bakers, knitters, an architect, a luggage maker – are all present within the last few generations, and speak through my art projects. I gave their spirit free reign to motivate me, as if it were only natural for me to pick up a knife and piece of paper or block of wood, and begin to handle and work with them. It is natural, and remains so.