Studio Home Studio, Hollywood
Recent Show Club Gallery Miami
Which artwork is the most personally meaningful to you?
Every piece of artwork that I create has personal meaning. Human activities pollute the world on multiple levels, yet nature persists and heals at street-level. Flora adapts to urbanization; it fights to maintain a positive connection with the world while healing at street level.
Is there a piece that signifies a breakthrough for you?
I don't know if there one piece of artwork that signifies a breakthrough. My creations are a complex mix of emotions, memories, and passions that preserve the natural world the way I enjoy seeing it. Although the environment has remained a universal theme, my art has evolved and changed alongside my state of being. At first I sewed intricate two-dimensional landscapes, so focused on reproducing the absolute beauty of nature that I missed its ephemeral beauty. As my state of being changed so did my perspective of the natural world.
Which artwork makes you the most proud? How does this artwork relate to artwork you admire?
The fused plastic bag jellyfish that float along streams in these installation works are both beautiful and melancholy. The works are fabricated with layered plastics melted, sewn, and stuffed with more plastic. The installation represents the silent beauty of the jellyfish as a connection between the overuse of plastics and declining life in the world’s oceans.One of the most memorable experiences I have had growing up in Miami is being with my parents who volunteered to help install Christo and Jeanne-Claude's pink fabric wrapped islands. My fused plastics installations relate to that incredible experience.
Which of your artworks reminds you of your youth or where you’re from?
Rainbow Bridge Diptych reminds me of my youth, I was born and raised in beautiful Miami. I attribute my love of nature and second-hand everything to growing up around classic cars and among the tools of my parents’ art-like trade. “My parents don’t consider themselves artists, but I do.” They started "Corvette Specialists" a corvette restoration company in the late 60s, a business that blended imagination, attention to detail, playing with texture and color and material, and appreciation for vintage forms. They traveled to car shows around South Florida displaying their work. “It was amazing and creative. My dad made my mom a corvette that was pink and covered in airbrushed butterflies. My mom installed the upholstery.” Growing up, my brother and I spent hours at our parents’ shop among the art supplies and restoration equipment. We had pure creative freedom.
How did you use materials to communicate your ideas?
The fused plastic bag “clouds” that float across swimming holes in this installation are both beautiful and melancholy. The works are fabricated with layered plastics melted, sewn, and stuffed with more plastic waste. The installation represents the silent beauty of clouds as a connection between the overuse of plastics and declining life in the world’s oceans. Climate change is today’s biggest threat to the people, societies, and economies across the world. I’m pushing for a change in consciousness. If we don’t experience the natural world as part of our external self, we will continue to create waste, practice harmful economics, and lead lifestyles which are not healthy for us and our planet.
Is there a piece that is conveying a specific message to the viewers?
“Nature’s Medicine” is a series of soft sculptures and lighting. Each piece is delicately sewn hand-dyed textile waste modeled after medicinal plants, botanicals and fungi. Biophilic design helps us reduce stress, improve our health, creativity, productivity, and emotional well-being. We are all a part of nature just as nature is a part of us.
What is a technically complex attribute in your practice which is sometimes overlooked?
I'm extremely proud of taking the craft of working with textiles into the contemporary art space. My stuffed wall collages and hand sculpted textile sculptures are technically complex process to create. My foundation learning in textiles came from watching my mom as a child. I took those skills and created the super stuffed fabric collages I create today.
Upload the funniest image/video on your phone?
I don't know how funny this will be to others, but unstuffing stuffed toys for the "fluff" seems funny!
Any special pets who support your practice?
This is Maggie, I adopted her from Broward County Humane Society 3 years ago. I have volunteered for the Humane Society for many years creating little art installations to photograph animals for adoptions. This collaboration has been one the most rewarding art collabs of my life.
Tell us about a recent commission? The scope, challenges, end result, etc
The most recent commission request was a friend of a friend... People love the Cannabis soft sculpture plants. I'm often asked to create their favorite strains. The plants represent a deeper connection with the natural world, acknowledging not only the importance of the environment, but also the historical use by humans for their healing and nourishing properties.