Reclamations explores the complexity and fragility present in trauma along with the subsequent silence and isolation. It expresses what happens after that initial moment of impact, when individuals are left alone with their pain, and what our roles are individually and as a society. Humanity is about more than just being human, to be humane is to act with a level of compassion towards each other.
Central to Reclamations are five groupings of 3-7 individually hanging anthropomorphic structures ranging in size from 16” to 72” in the round. Each form is made utilizing a process of layering chicken wire, plaster gauze, and papier-mâché paste. These are materials that, alone, are unable to support themselves, but when layered can support the whole. The layers are intentionally left visible to heighten a sense of their vulnerability and each form’s gesture captures a body in pain. Each structure is suspended to create a sense of immobilization and to capture a moment in time. The surface of the forms is left raw to allow their materiality to be their focus. I am posing the question, “what do we do when we recognize these gestures in others and in ourselves.”
In opposite corners of the gallery, spherical vessels appear singularly or in stacks. Together, the vessels invoke questions on importance and expendability, strength and fragility, inclusion and isolation. Recordings of shuttered breathing emanate from speakers placed throughout the installation. They fill the vast exhibition space with a sense of disquiet and anxiety. I took the intimate act of breathing and separate it from the person. I use breath as a symbol for all living humans, just like the highly abstract physical forms that surround the participants. In doing so, I approach the universality of trauma and our role in it.