“There’s always a story.” That’s how my work was recently described by one who knows it well. And while many other observations may be fitting, this concise statement probably offers the best interpretation.
Why is there always a story? Because there’s always a story, whether it’s about the collage’s subject or the materials that went into its making. I love stories and working with them has been at the heart of my creative career, no matter where it has led me.
Sometimes I form pieces from a position of personal knowledge. For an upcoming show, for instance, I’ve drawn from my experiences with a small Texas farming community. One piece is of a young woman, whose image became my “everywoman”, appearing in a series of collages that explored life, love and spirituality. Two more are of a mother and son. The mother was once a young girl who longed to travel to distant places, but found herself, instead, rooted to a patch of land. The boy was a cowboy at heart. His love of horses spanned a lifetime, from his first solo ride at age two until his last days, when beset by terminal cancer, he found pleasure reading his favorite horse-trading tales.
But there are other times, when pieces begin and often remain enigmatic, leaving ample room for interpretation. The collage materials chosen form the narrative, as was the case with Perdu Saint and its worn holy card, an item I came upon as I navigated a dusty Parisian street and Seattle Girl, which features an over-exposed photograph I discovered in a Seattle antiquities shop. It doesn’t seem to matter if the subjects are known to me or not, I still endeavor to bring their stories to life with an array of vintage and handcrafted papers, often retrieved during my travels, and some of the simple materials I scavenge from everyday life.
I always hope my work may enlighten, inspire, challenge or amuse a viewer as much as it has me, or that it will urge both of us to take one step further, inciting us to better understand each other and ourselves. Maybe it’s even possible that one day, you and I shall meet, I will create, and your story shall be told too, because as both of us now know, there’s always a story.