My work focuses on the nexus of impulsive destruction and thoughtful mending, juxtaposing acts of aggression, such as spilling, shredding and cutting, with restorative labor and careful reconstruction. I contrast accident, error and gestures of impatience, with the seductive, attentive detail of traditional craft techniques and develop rich narratives from chance and impulse. My work combines painting and sculpture with craft methodology. I have used stitching in my best-known work and examined bringing chaos, frustration and rebellion into needlework traditions: embroideries are hand-stitched over stains and rips on canvas; lacework plugs gaps and tears; tablecloths and blankets are repaired by sewing around spills or holes. Throughout my work I play with scrambling dichotomies of craft/art and formal/conceptual, allowing traditionally meticulous media to be used in roughly expressionistic and improvisational ways that suggest layered meanings, reinterpretations of information and embedded personal and transactional histories. I have explored working with cut paper by hybridizing the Victorian hobby of quilling with a conceptual approach that highlights the value and the ultimate overwhelm of hoarded paper that has outlived its usefulness. The end result are shredded paper sculptures, which reconfigure a mass of stored paper into slabs reminiscent of tree cross-sections where climate and age are visible in a single slice. A recent project is with cut paper collage. The decorative and symmetrical flowers and birds of the Eastern European folk art of Wycinanki are subverted with a layering and an imagery of multiple references, including a chaotic energy that reflects displacement and trauma. My philosophy is one I have termed “imperfectionism” and it approaches craft with improvisation instead of patterning, expressionism in place of control, exploring how primary to the crafted object is the sense that it has been made “properly”. Does craftsmanship depend on traditional notions of tidiness and respect for traditional methods or how far can it tip toward fragility and/or discomfort?

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