Having been a performer (dancer/actor) most of my life, I move in front of the camera to stage fictitious, dark, domestic scenarios using my daughters, husband and self as actors; I work with metaphor, irony and satire to comment and create conversation on the timeless subject of family/parenthood/relationships within the larger context of current societal issues like gun control, suicide, class, and privacy loss.
I use American proverbs, idioms and old biblical sayings as a springboard to construct each dramatic set-up. For example, Spilled Milk is embedded in the title and used quite literally to inform the image. Deepening the investigation I play with tension by presenting two opposing views within the same frame; upon first observation the initial show of wealth and abundance say one thing, but the empty shelves and bereft emotion imply something quite different as the image unfolds. I also enter an image by utilizing the idiom as an initial impulse which informs the content and direction during the creation – like “Toy”. This image employs A Ticking Time Bomb referencing an all too familiar headline of unsupervised children with guns; the male, buff torso serves as a metaphor for all our fanciful pre-occupations like jobs, friends, social media and any number of addictions.
Staging each drama to look like a marketing campaign for an ideal life: bright colors, appeasing classic composition, beautiful clothes; the carefully constructed veneer becomes the tool to draw the audience to harsher realities of shadow and denial. The images ask the audience to come closer, laugh nervously or knowingly, acknowledge their own dark reflection, recoil, revisit and then rehash the experience later.
Having come of age watching David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” and bingeing on Mike Leigh films – before it was called binge watching – or any number of other dark, lush independent films of the 80s and 90s, my young self found kindred spirits in their exploration of the dark side. I take the world I know today and plunge it into this sensibility and finish it off with a biting sarcastic point of view to fuel conversation, toy with well-honed archetypes and appease my own restless soul.
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