This body of work emerged out of the combined actions of making and thinking. By pairing the repetitive and meditative action of hand stitching with a zoomed-in attention to materials of everyday life, I’m interested in the tactility of presence as a type of spatiality that accompanies the ways we make meaning. I often return to processes that seem to slow down time and transform the space around me into a more tactile, somehow more real, field of being. This is what draws me to kinesthetic learning, the pairing of action and attention. For me, it opens space for imagination, contemplation and discovery. I crave these moments. Through making and thinking I explore both visual and spatial languages around my felt sense of being in the world as a way to put form to formless impressions and extra verbal knowledge.

If It Can Be Whole and Timeline of a Held breath are two distinct works that were exhibited together for the 2023 spring semester Final MFA Exhibition, Membranes, at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe (formerly Sierra Nevada University).

If It Can Be Whole is a series of abstract soft sculpture made from various scraps of formerly used fabric, mostly clothing. Each sculpture begins by intuitively stitching together fabric scraps as they are to allow for the former purpose of the fabric to contribute to the final sculptural shape. As the shape of a sleeve is determined by a need of the body or the fabric that remains from a sewing pattern is the body’s inverse, the final sculptures retain bodily essence without mimicking its form. I am interested in re- using fabric, especially clothing, because it is infused with experience, oil and sweat as a kind of index of daily life. This installation responded to the space of the Garage Door Gallery where each sculpture was installed to be seen as both singular and part of a larger network of relations. Some sculptures were placed on marble plaster plinths I designed, some suspended in hammocks handmade from worn t-shirts and sweatshirts, and the rest laid on the bare floor.

Timeline of a Held Breath is a looping circular video projected onto the wall behind If It Can Be Whole. At 7:39, it depicts the lifespan a soap bubble in the grass, filmed from above in slow motion. As the sky is reflected in the swirling soap membrane and the wind disturbs its perfect sphere, I narrate 5 vignette style stories that prompt listeners to consider different layers of awareness.

“Textiles,” as Julia Bryan-Wilson says in her engaging text, Fray, “…do not solely metaphorize the human condition so much as…help create what we think of as ‘the human.’“ For me, video further focuses this lens and adds an element of place to highlight a spatiality that accompanies the ways we make meaning and opens the possibility to question phenomena familiarity has rendered invisible.

Membranes was a group show with fellow UNR MFA-IA graduates Allyson Darakjian, Sarah Bird and Rachel Rein