A Familiar House is an installation consisting of a concrete jail cell, cathedral windows made of denim and a poetry chapbook. This work stems from my incarcerated brother’s longing to be home. I depict my brother’s prison in the American West through concrete walls and portray our New England home with poetry. A Familiar House represents the desire for the familiar while confined in an isolated landscape.
This work facilitates a personal relationship with the incarcerated for those who do not have a connection to the perspective of inmates in prison. In the current political climate, with so many families broken apart by a harsh and unsympathetic penal system, my work stands as a representation of the desire to feel a connection with loved ones. A Familiar House validates my brother's longing to be with his family, and critiques the system that divided us.
My American West Is A Fantasy is my interpretation of the American West through written poetry and made objects. I wrote the chapbook Under the Midnight Sun / I Am Without Horse And That Devil Sun, She Will Rise Again and created objects that act as illustrations.
As a New Englander with no experiential knowledge of the American West, I built the work based on collected images I have gathered through Western films and American literature. My portrayal of the West is both campy and somber.
Cowboy Andy, the cowboy from the poetry, is a reference to my older brother. My brother is in prison in Arizona, yet he hasn’t seen the western landscapes that I have idealized so much. This narrative is my way to cope his absence.
concrete, walnut, chicken skull | walnut 72 x 9 x 1 in. | concrete 24 x 6 x 4 in.
Portrait Of A White Tailed Deer
concrete, deer antlers | 51 x 17 x 3 in.
West In A Frame
concrete, ash, found print | 20 x 41 x 2.25 in.
Coyote In The Haus
concrete, coyote fur, ash | 34 x 8 x 13.5 in.
Indoor Desert Plant
concrete, pine, sand | 72 x 36 x 36 in.
Cowboys Of The West
concrete, walnut, found print | 26 x 41 x 2.25 in.
concrete, walnut, horse hair | 36 x 48 x 12 in.
This body of work draws from my appreciation for the woods in my hometown. Through poetry and objects, I illustrate the musings of wandering through The Woodlands. This work depicts a preference for natural landscapes over manmade environments. There is a clear distinction between the two settings, but my intent is to abstract the constructed definitions of natural and unnatural. To do this, I leave behind written poetry and concrete objects in the woods.