I use imagery of animals as metaphors for events in human society as a way to process what I am experiencing and observing around me in politics, social issues, and environmental issues, specifically ones relating to agriculture. I explore concepts of value, ownership, and identity in the rural Midwest geography and represent it through uses of gold, aerial, and map imagery, as well as performative processes. The agrarian landscape, with its straight windrows of crops, has an aesthetically pleasing simplicity but a critical Achilles heel for the longevity of our environment. In some of my pieces I have capitalized on the design of this landscape in my work, but call to attention the commodification of the landscape through color and material choices such as gold paint or commercially produced OSB board, tempera paint sticks, and plaster. I am particularly interested in the dichotomy of hard and soft, wood and string, and how these materials have been gendered in my life growing up and thus valued differently in this community of working-class farmers and laborers. Now as an adult I have been able to learn skills that were not accessible to me as a woman. The act of making my art is equally as important as the art itself, processes that include slow and deliberate, gendered, labor or child-like exploration and play are healing processes for me as I process my upbringing as well as my current role in this ecosystem.
While I am exploring several topics and materials, ideas that drive me to create, center on perceptions of value in my environment and how my surroundings, places, and beings (often animals) that I have had a deep connection to throughout my life, serve as metaphors for current events, national social issues, and my own identity as a white person descended from settlers on this continent in an area that seems to have more cows than people.