I have a history of working across a broad range of material practices in topically focused projects. The research I do is an important part of the making of each series, it is immersive and an integral part of how the subject is built. Many of these projects look at patterns of human behavior and importantly the consequences of our actions. Questions such as “How much of our behavior is rooted in the core of our biological identity and how captive are we to these impulses?”, “Why do humans repeatedly make the same mistakes?” and “How does embedding these questions within an art work act on us as viewers? At present I am involved in a long-term ceramic sculpture series that is following the conflicts in the Middle East.
The Four Year War at Gombe” is an epic photographic series installed in chapter like groupings. The series is based on Jane Goodall’s discovery that chimpanzees, like us, carry grudges, defend their territory and wage war. The series follows Goodall’s accounts of a troop that lived peaceably together for many years before splitting into two communities. Over a period of four years, half of the original group hunted down and killed all of the former members of their troop. It seems that like us, the bloodiest feuds and civil wars are always waged against those whom we have the closest ties to. Goodall wrote about chimpanzee violence and saw our selves in them, both in our ability to co-operate as well as having the same kind of strategic thinking that goes into planned warfare.
The recent ceramic project "A Bad Idea Seems Good Again" was started while I was in the middle of editing the "Gombe" project. It seemed important that I return to human affairs, to be in the present and to look directly at the state of the world we live in. I see the two project as linked, in that the Gombe story is like an “origins” story to our own history of violence. This new series of ceramic maquettes are based on photographic documentation of recent global sites of conflict. The series focuses on the damage civilian communities endure. It archives evidence soon to be buried, bulldozed and carted away as new cities are built a top them. While much of this work may look similar to the effects of natural disasters it is important to remember that these are not “accidents of nature” but entirely man made acts of destruction. The scale and material choices are inspired by funerary models from the Han Dynasty. They are pointedly anti- monumental in scale. Intimate rather than grand.
My work has been exhibited at Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota,The Chicago Cultural Center, Crystal Bridges Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Elmhurst Art Museum, Sweeney Art Gallery, Riverside, California, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Illinois, Galerie Wit, Wageningen, Netherlands, Rocket Gallery, London, England, The Drawing Center, New York City, New York. My work has been written about in Art In America, Flash Art, Chicago Tribune, Art Papers, Chicago Magazine, New Art Examiner. Awards include The Illinois Arts Council, Jerome Foundation, Art & Technology Residency; Wexner Museum, Artists Residency; Wild Animal Park. Artist Residency: Krems, Ausrtia