Humans have a complicated relationship with their physical bodies. My work explores this idea, specifically the denial of this physicality that was prevalent in my Catholic upbringing, while simultaneously asserting the body’s messy and powerful presence. This work is influenced by the history of Christianity, martyrdom, and the monstrous. Like the fragmentation of the martyred body, the monstrous body exhibits dissolution of parts, and shows in its disquieting form, hybridization, lack and excess. My work also addresses the hierarchical beliefs around nature in which we categorize, consume and attempt to control the natural world. Using re-purposed commercial plaster molds as well as hand-made molds cast from found toy animals, knick-knacks, and religious statues, I re-compose objects that upon closer inspection reflect an unsettling manipulation of human and animal bodies.
Recently I have been wrapping animal forms in damp porcelain sheets – binding, bandaging the figures, and contemplating the intentions of these gestures. Inspired by visits to the Ohio State Agricultural Fair in Columbus, where farm animals were clothed in protective fabrics, tethered tightly to posts, awaiting exhibition and judging, I have begun assembling my own slip-cast menagerie, in which I play with forms of domestication, sanitation and restraint. Through the use of animal forms I explore ideas of repression, confinement, and torture, the animals becoming a metaphor for our relationships with others, and how we understand ourselves.