I build invented species of nature constructed from hand made paper and combined with found industrial and natural debris. These sculptures are improvisations on the structures and visual qualities of plant and animal life: fusions of leaves, fern parts, insect antennae, exoskeletons, pods, vine, tentacles, skins, fins, and wings.
Keeping in mind the color, textures, and forms I have seen and wish to extrapolate from nature, I fabricate papers using abaca and pigments. I beat the fiber to achieve a specific strength and luminosity, and carefully mix colors. Using chemicals, I suspend two colored pulps in a vat so that the sheets of paper are often speckled with color, much like the dappled yellow and red maple leaves of autumn, and then dip into the vats of prepared paper pulp and form sheets.
Manipulating these wet sheets, I experiment as I go along. I tear, cut, twist, pierce and fuse pieces together, allowing the paper to shrink and buckle in the process of drying, to mimic natural topographies. At times the papers are restrained under weight to achieve a smooth diaphanous surface like that of a membrane or insect wing. I tear, cut, twist, pierce and fuse pieces together. I allow the paper to shrink and buckle in the process of drying, to mimic natural topographies. At times the papers are restrained under weight to achieve a smooth diaphanous surface like that of a membrane or insect wing.
My mind travels as my hands work. Torn, pierced fragments are pressed together to become the thorax of an unnamed creature or a frond of a never-seen-before leaf. Wet, twisted strands are woven and choreographed into a mesh of cocoon-like forms.
Some hybrids are built solely with abaca; others are formed by binding paper to debris found on the street. I might imagine and make rust-colored abaca paper tendrils sprouting out of a pocked piece of metal, or construct quirky standing forms by cutting paper strips and wrapping them around a series of tree pods. A menagerie grows.
These sculptures can be exhibited in different ways: individually, in small group configurations, or amassed in large groups to form room sized environments.
Each constructed world is an investigation. I begin by moving pieces around the wall and floor to see which hybrids might belong together, often recycling components from past installations. As elements are arranged they begin to form constellations that float across walls. Parts coalesce; rhythms develop and build energy. Finally, a universe emerges -- quirky, unpredictable and in the midst of transformation.