For many, art can be the catalyst for healing, personal, and- subsequently- societal transformation. Mental health is a place of research and a source of inspiration in my art practice. The human mind is a magnificent thing, yet it is incapable of understanding the entirety of itself in any one given moment. I find that the personification of animals makes it easier to understand ourselves. I grew up with stories that seemingly tried to contextualize fragments of humanity; Jan Brett, Aesop, William Steig, and more tell tales of personified animals embodying human experiences. As I get older, the tortoises and the hares become more nuanced and layered, yet, in their complexity, they mask the truth of their identity. It is my goal to strip these characters back down to expose the truths they have to tell.
During this pandemic, my work has shifted from shedding light on mental health crises to drawing forth hope. The pandemic has been indescribably arduous on so many of us, and I want to introduce a bit of wonder back into the extraordinary ordinary that is our new reality. I want to give generously to my community in a way that is conducive to the recovery and understanding of self and others. This shift has awoken a new passion in me for enticing others to interact with and internalize the delightful curiosity towards everyday life.
Just as in There Are So Many Beautiful Moments to Come, outside of fiction, spotting a crow can be a good sign. Whether it’s a conditioned behavior or an act of gratitude, crows are known to give gifts to humans that are kind to them. These gifts come in the form of beads, bottlecaps, paperclips, buttons, lost earrings, just about anything small, shiny, and colorful that they can find. In this piece, the crows flying toward the pile have wrapped objects in their mouths. Whereas the one flying away from the pile is empty beaked, having already deposited its gift. Inside each parcel is an object that a crow would gift and a handwritten encouraging message. The wall text invites viewers to unwrap an object and take it with them. The installation and the crow’s gifts serve as a reminder to viewers that life is worth living and that they are deserving of special moments. In this time-based, interactive piece, crows, typically symbols of death, are subverted into smiling creatures bringing treasured moments of life.