It is in our nature as humans to want for a home, a point of origin to start from and safe place to return at journey's end. When that place is lost, we risk becoming lost too. This body of work is an exploration of how the spaces we occupy shape us. It’s location is focused on the American landscape in an attempt to explore the ideals that have developed within the psyche of the American culture. I am particularly interested in socially and geographically vulnerable locations. Places that are in liminal states of existence because of environmental tragedy or economic failure.
When our economic decisions overshadow our human and cultural needs we risk far more than just losing the building we call home or the streets that collectively makeup that location. We risk losing our values, morals, history, and even future.
The particular interest of this body of work comes from personal experiences as well as borrowed stories. Born in a Pennsylvania oil refinery town, I am no stranger to the perils of the over-consumption of natural resources. As a resident of Oakland, CA, a socially vibrant city, perpetually in an economically and geographically vulnerable position, I have developed a sensitivity to the unique relationship that a cultural sense of belonging has on the urban psyche and landscape. As a resident of Rochester, NY, a rustbelt city living in the shadow of the monoliths of its cultural prowess, I have cultivated an appreciation for the historical significance of specific local and the role that memory plays in shaping one’s sense of home. It is places like these that stir my imagination and sympathies. I have gathered and collected these homes that have shaped me. They now travel with me as memories and stories that guide this work, to honor the very idea of “home” in all of its manifestations.
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. It impels mighty ambitions and dangerous capers. We amass great fortunes at the cost of our souls, or risk our lives... Hoping that by doing these things, home will find us acceptable or failing that, that we will forget our awful yearning for it.”
― Maya Angelou, “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes”