I am drawn to printmaking as a medium that works both in concert and in conflict with my experience of chronic illness. Both are tedious and require infinite patience. But printmakings laborious nature is also at odds with my body, exacerbating symptoms that make the repetition and precision of the discipline uniquely challenging. This friction directly informs my practice as I explore the visibility vs. invisibility of disability through both the process of making and the content of my work. I often incorporate embroidery and embossment as an expression of the body’s relationship with the built environment, connecting the places where internal experience and external perception meet.
What books/authors/ and or music is inspiring you right now?
I recently read Sara Hendren’s What can a body do? How we meet the built world, which challenged my perceptions of what ‘counts’ as assistive technology. This inspired me to reimagine how I view the many objects that I rely on day to day, particularly those I use to make art.
As for music, I’ve had Holy Garden District’s album Melon Light in heavy rotation lately. It is the perfect mix of somber and contemplative elation that has gotten me through a rollercoaster of pandemic emotions.
What is a challenge you have experienced that ended up being pivotal in your growth as an artist?
Navigating chronic illness and changes in my physical capabilities has had a big impact on how I make art and pursue creative endeavors generally. Initially, it felt like I had to do everything in my power to push through, work around, and downplay any limitations I encountered. As my views on disability and my disabled identity have evolved over time, my perspective has shifted radically to one of embracing my slower and more relaxed pace of creating. While born of necessity, this shift has given me the space and patience in my art practice that I never had before. It doesn’t mean certain limitations aren’t still frustrating, but I am grateful for the clarity that has come intertwined with the challenges.
If you could have a superpower for just one day, what would it be?
I would love to have the ability to understand every language (furry friends included)!