I’m interested in transforming the frenetic impulse of the every day into a calming,
An artist residency at Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo several years ago influenced my
work in myriad ways. My time in Japan caused me to think carefully about air, about
breathing, about osmosis, a kind of unconscious assimilation or gathering of
information through the atmosphere.
Pyrographs /burn drawings
These works are a meditation on topography, expressive of air, of breathing, of
atmosphere suggestive of deep space as well as a kind of molecular intimacy. They
are informed by the great prairies of the Midwest, vast acres burned every spring to
restore nitrogen to the soil, a fertility ritual in a way, and by the undulating horizon
lines of the Flint Hills beneath which limestone is embedded with fossils from
prehistoric times when the land was an underground sea.
The pyrographs are works on paper created through a scorching or burning process.
I’m interested in the transformation of the material, the process of drawing the
mark from within the paper, itself. Their subject matter has evolved from
architectural infrastructure, to a series of portrait silhouettes relating to camouflage,
mapping, interior states of being, and finally and always, to the seminal relationship
of the body to the landscape.
I work with the thorns from the honey locust tree to create large-scale installations
and discrete sculptures related to architectural form. I think of these works as
three-dimensional drawings; the sculptures as drawings in space and the wall
installations similar to crosshatch drawings as they make their way across the wall.
The thorns grow up and around the trunk as well as along the branches of the honey
locust. They are dangerous and much defiled and difficult to work with, yet I
respond to their elegance of form and the cultural metaphors they suggest. With the
pencil point tip of a burning tool I make a hole through which the natural thorns are
self-doweled. It is a slow and meditative process.
In addition to working with thorns in their natural state, I have begun casting them
in bronze. Hesitant at first to embrace this classic media, I have come to value its
ability to capture both the ominous qualities and the elegant geometry that
compelled me to work with the thorns originally.
Video and Installation
Video and installation provide a means of exploring the everyday. Whether personal
notes and drawings, imagery of a construction worker seemingly at the top of the
world, or work gloves retrieved from a manufacturing plant as part of an
installation, this work is often designed as a lure, to draw people in to an unfamiliar
area, an institution, or an underutilized part of the city.
My work has been supported by grants from the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas
City, the Salina Art Center, The Lighton International Artist Exchange Program, The
Avenue of the Arts Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation Professional Development
Workshop, and the Daum Museum. It is found in the collections of the Nerman
Museum, Sprint Corporation, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Shook, Hardy & Bacon, the Stowers
Institute and H&R Block Corporation and numerous other corporate and private
collections. Writings about my work have been published in ArtPapers, The Kansas City
Star, Review, The Reader, and The Salina Journal, along with various other print and