“narratives of place”

Step One: Recall a place that has figured prominently in your life. Consider your relationship in all senses. How has this place affected the making of your work?

For some reason, I feel very compelled to write about my childhood backyard. All the days and nights spent playing in that magical slice of earth formulated my love for nature and actualization of what makes a strong community.

I recall doing homework atop a modest swing-set my father built. Sometimes, I would lie back, close my eyes, and see how light and shadows danced over my eyelids. I distinctly remember the symphony of rustling leaves and creaking timber.

Each season had a different smell. Fall smelled like damp foliage, prominent evergreens, and dewy grass. It was the smell of autumn that I missed most when I moved to the desert.

The raw nature of my experiences in this space infused into my being. Although I was a child who followed expectations and mostly avoided getting into trouble, I would frequently sneak into the woods at the yard’s end. The bruises and scrapes achieved along the way taught me lessons of perseverance while hinting at the power of the natural world. Nothing puts you in your place like getting lost. Having these moments to learn, play, and explore in solitude heavily influenced my lifelong dedication to the natural world.

In retrospect, my foundations in these excursions continues into today. When any of my wells run dry (emotional, creative, social, etc.) I reorient myself with the world around me.

Step Two: Many artists live transient lives. Ideas of belonging and connection emerge alongside themes of dislocation, displacement, and nomadism. Are such themes prominent in your work?

The concept of being a transient person is now a part of my being. I am absolutely a nomad. I currently reside in the fifth state I have lived in. Nonetheless, I don’t intentionally incorporate these ideas into my work. Life isn’t a progression or a destination for me. Life is simply existence. I am both completely alone and ever connected. These perceptions are my reality. Therefore, I have never considered representing this in my art.

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