I work within the boundaries of my garden with still lives, organic compositions and compost. The organic still lives in my work have biographical notes that cover not only the realm of home but also tell stories about my life in a subtle hidden manner. My work starts the moment I plant a seed and nurture it to the stages of maturity, flowering and decay, eventually becoming soil for future plants. It’s a labour intensive process that allows me to explore the landscape as a physical and mystic space where time and nature become my creative allies. I use organic materials that are methodically planned, nursed and harvested according their aesthetic qualities that later are used in my compositions; similar to how a painter uses pigments to create work. From seed to harvest, to the creation of a still life, a year can pass which allows me to attune to nature’s cycles. I’m inspired by the light and the metaphors of XVII Dutch still life paintings. This genre, once considered of lesser importance, fits with the devaluation of labour that is inherent in garden and domestic work.
“Still life seems to have three strikes against it as subject of scholarly inquiry: frivolity, felinity and familiarity” (Clinberg: 56). The felinity or the savage nature of still life fits the underlying tones of my work where the rawness of life, the flourishing and the decay mix together to reflect on the contradictions and tensions I see in life. Labour, body investment, life cycles and the landscape are a constant in my work.
Clintberg, Mark, Dr. “ The artist’s Restaurant : Taste and the Performative Still
Life” Thesis. Concordia University, 2013.