cootiecatcher vs. calamity
I make art which draws parallels between personal pieties, religious norms and cultural metaphors. While working in both installation and printmaking media, I attempt to engage viewers with unusually direct questions and interactive sculpture. This particular body of work uses two metaphors- the folded paper cootiecatcher and images of calamity. These two metaphors are recast in a variety of works in a discussion concerning certainty, security and the sublime. …lean in, come up close and ask these questions with me…
Most Minnesotans know weather well. These images of calamity are my symbol for a wide range of potential loss. The monoprints imagine what it might look like to come face to face with a tornado, a mudslide, a hurricane, etc. The small digital photos reduce storm clouds to dark intimate assailable annoyances. The larger color prints present lovely tornadoes and pretty thunderstorms with questions oozing with pious dignity and purposeful faith. As a viewer, I encourage you to consider your own personal parallels to these images of tumult.
The folded black paper fortune tellers are cootiecatchers. For my purposes here, the cootiecatcher represents conventions of manufactured security. As a child, I played a fortune-telling game with paper folded into this form. It told us what kind of house we would live in as adults, what kind of car we would drive, how many children we would have, etc. This assumptive approach to the future seemed to provide some comfort as we considered the unknown. The cootiecatcher game strikes me now as similar to adult investment in risk insurance and superstitious religiosity. You are encouraged to write your own cootiecatcher at the large pedestal.
As an artist, I hope to engineer this environment towards intimate contemplation of these questions and these metaphors. I hope you strain a bit to read the texts, discern the images or consider the concepts. I hope you feel small in comparison to a larger thing, yet still engaged by it. I hope you are afraid of your calamities, but still awed by their power and beauty. I hope you are compelled and repulsed. These are the things of the sublime. These reactions are questions: looming with possibility, slightly amorphous and spectacular. I do not purpose specific answers. For me, the question is far more valuable than the response.
Are we strengthened by encountering misfortune as a horrible insurmountable beauty?
What collateral do we surrender for refuge?
How do we perceive the magnificent horror of loss?
What, if anything, can stave off calamity?
Is the beauty of destruction worthy of our gaze?
How can we really insure our lives from loss?
Are our attempts to acquire security false?
Is indemnity purchase-able?
How does faith provide confidence against tragedy?
Can a Christian trust God completely yet purchase insurance without contradicting their faith?
Are we really so easily secured from the mayhem at which this world excels?
Does faith or insurance or government ultimately assure for us sanctuary or transcendence?
How do we approach the gales in our own lives?
john the baptizer
cootiecatcher vs. calamity invitation
wide-angle view of installation in YFAC gallery
what would you do if you were not afraid?
view of anvilhead from second level in gallery
do you deserve what you can protect?
what does the other side of your fear look like?
what difference does faith make?
what do you do with the calm between the storms?
is doubt the opposite of faith?
is tomorrow so guaranteed?
what will you live without?
view of gallery with digital print on wall and cootiecatchers on tables
installation as seen from blower
"artsy photo" from blower
make your own cootiecatcher table, complete with stickers and pencils
installation from below
installation from above
view of pedestals over cootiecatchers
cootiecatcher scale study
silver & black cootiecatchers
are you really sure?
silver & black cootiecatchers from above
a table full of the little buggers
value thru texture study
gradual scale study
YFAC gallery main entry with view of installation thru window
prep drawing for installation #21
YFAC gallery main entry close up
prep drawing for installation #22
view of installation from outside thru main gallery window
prep drawing for installation #23
view of installation from outside thru side window
Communion Wafer Piñata
Heart of Stone
Heart of Flesh
Heart of Stone Directions
Heart of Flesh Directions
Turning Heart Directions
View of Gallery Above Heart Balloon
BeanBag Throw Game
BeanBag Throw in Action
3 Heart-Shaped Sculptural Piñatas
Heart of Scripture Piñata
Easy Cheese Piñata
Heart Pinata Swinging Once
Heart Pinata Swinging Twice
Heart Pinata Swinging Thrice
Application of Ashes
Ashes on Forehead
Pin the Heart Game
Pin the Heart Hammering
Pin the Heart- Hanging the Heart
Pin the Heart- on Mary
2002 Christmas Print
sewn safari schematic
red, white & stupid
NE Esquimalt Way
Emperess Hotel #404
Tempature or Altering
The Right Side
Intaining the Concentration
The Many Folds
Moistening & Filtering
BotanyBodiesBuildings Show Card
23 West Cadboro Pointp
1414 Ft. Flagler Rd.
Images Mean More