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My parents grew up under the British colonial system. And I have grown up under a version of the   American one in its treatment of  people of color and indigenous native  Americans. 

 

While my career as a landscape architect and feminist playwright  allowed me to explore  the  dynamics of feminism, identity, and nature, it was through painting, printmaking and sculpture  that I found a way to express  unresolved notions of self and representation  within the context of the  colonial experience.

n my sculptures, I use materials such as shells, wood, chains, metals and fabric to  reinforce a connection to  the geography of those who have been physically and culturally  dispossessed. Similiarly, in printmaking, I use archival colonialist images, old photos of my own family,  and reliquiaries  of vanished landscapes and extinct animals to unravel the manipulated perspectives that hid the truth of violence and anguish unleashed by the colonizers.

 

Concurrently,  my artwork explores feminist issues of identity and suppression in a  way that Audre Lorde calls bio-mythology.

My artwork explores feminist issues of identity in what Audre Lorde calls bio-mythology. In the works shown here, I have  turned to  images of fairy tales, enigmatic spirits, and animals   whose powers  are  most naturally felt by  women's bodies  in empathy with the moon and earth,   and whose  expression of those powers are manifested in  narratives of transformation, fertility, and survival. Women were thrown out of  paradise for knowing too much which is why images  of gardens, forest, animals have always been a part of work.  

 

But now I  also incorporate religious motifs, partly due to  my religious  upbringing which provides an image language with which I am most familiar. They act as an instant metaphoric trigger allowing others to  recognize  the dissonance that  isolates women as submissive, weak, fit only for sex and burning. 

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In recent years I have become fascinated by birds . They  have seen everything – cages, mines, oceans, mountains, jungles, cities.  In the beginning,  I combined Audubon’s  birds posed in death with women painted by Sargent or religious images of women because they were also posed detached from the natural world. These were studies about the male gaze.

 

Recently my images  have evolved into woman with wings whose faces are carved bird’s heads. Its the  resurrection of another kind of being that is both tangible and intangible.

When I work, I know I am making an illusion – perspectival, mythical, referential through which the  ideas and the energy of the piece are expressed. The external shape of the piece is a combination of the hidden and the visible. It is  a semi-real construct of  volume and color incorporated into the deeper illusion/allusion of memory, montage and meaning.  Often I find a piece has made me, rather than the other way around.

 Making art is to experience your own experience.