2018, Birch bark, acrylic painted branches, leaves and pinecones; construction paper, pencil and chalk pastel
This multimedia piece was made during a residency with Arts Letters and Numbers in September of 2018 and uses found objects from the surrounding natural environment. Inspired by my time spent walking in the woods, I began collecting different kinds of branches, leaves and bark and bringing them into the studio. By creating my own environment with these objects, I was able to feel more connected to the community of Averill Park and more integrated into the woods surrounding the residency.
The more time I spent interacting with this piece, the more it became a space for my body to move through and sense intimately in every possible way: I used my eyes to paint the branches earthy reds, I inhaled the birch bark as it gradually decomposed, and I listened to the dry leaves crunch under my body. I moved through the space and made contact with the ground and with the walls as I began to trace my body directly upon it in different poses and gesticulations.
Every morning I would come into the studio and use my body to sense everything in this environment that I had created from the woods of Averill Park. I began to trace my body on large sheets of construction paper that I would lay on the ground each day and then hang on the wall to serve as documentation.
Additionally I began to record myself doing these exercises and then projecting the videos onto the installation to give the piece more depth, which served as means of entry for the onlooker. I noticed that the other artists at Arts Letters and Numbers began to transform from being spectators to more active participants in the environment, as they would lay themselves down on the ground, watching and every so often moving their bodies in response to myself, the performer in the video projections.