Artist Statement

My artistic gaze still goes back and forth. It comes from the introspection about myself/the world as I focus on one or another. I am still refining the fluctuation between the two because going back and forth too quickly causes cognitive whiplash. It is like an accordion as it is being played; the bellows go in and out to shift notes and progress the song forward but there are subtle shifts between, and each side calls to one another, not a rapid push/pull in and out of the bellows.

At the root of how I go about living or making things there is this subconscious core idea of knowing that my life is finite; growing up with a chronic illness has led to that as a huge drive to what I do. It leads me to compose passionately, intensely, and fervently. How I make art is because of the various intersections of identities I carry and that understanding how they all weave together is important.

Art that I have been making recently is looking and coming to understand the world around me. For example, the images made for Anchors were looking at the repeated turn to the bed as a way to make space for caregiving in times of rapid change and what other objects repeat. I then reactivated the space using the same tools to be able to install the art.

The art made for Don’t want your damn sorrys was based off the grief framework from J. William Worden applied to the process of going through miscarriages. Also going through the miscarriages, I wanted to apply the idea of “savoring every moment”, a mantra that is given to new parents after the birth of a child, into a space in which is not meant to be “enjoyed” but making the most of how life plays out. It also gave space to explore concepts and themes around health issues in a confined period of time.

Art within the trans iteration series started as a way to weave together my experience as a public transit commuting parenting artist and student. The constant feeling of never being in the right place and always being in transit to another obligation. After hundreds of hours spent on the transit system, how I saw the city started to shift through watching how people add their voice and creativity to the city landscape and how the city tries to erase the marks left by the people and the cycle repeating.

Recently, I have been trying to pull at the threads of making art about chronic health conditions. I have the diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease where my kidneys increase in size due to numerous cysts growing in my kidneys. In my case, I have my father’s kidneys. The diagnosis used to make me feel like I was lesser because of my “bad genetics”. My dad was held up as the example for what my future with kidney disease could be. So when he died at 51 after 11 years of dialysis with no opportunity for a kidney transplant, his death took the winds of hope out of my sails. But after a lot of art making (and therapy/grief work) I embraced my kidneys who got me to where I am and no matter all the preventive measures I take to extend my life, the end result is the same. So I am reclaiming my time instead of being a health warrior fighting a losing battle to being a person working toward building a world where access to health is equitable.

One aspect about having chronic kidneys is the constant awareness of there being a future decline into kidney failure. Am I drinking enough water? How much sodium was in that slice of bread? How much of feeling your heartbeat while going through your day is too much? Why does my urine look that way? One way I have imbued that energy into my art is by making color film exposures, collecting the urine that was in my body while making those images, and processing the images with the urine. This process alters the emulsion based on how my kidneys are doing, resulting in surreal coloration that highlights that constant thought process. I am also mirroring the medical ritual of having to collect my urine for doctors when they evaluate my kidneys’ performance.

as of June 29th, 2024