The cranberry, a tart, highly pigmented fruit, is a symbol of personal identity. Having grown up on a cranberry farm in New England, my life is intimately tied to this berry, which represents both abundance and fecundity but also tension with the patriarchal family hierarchy. The berry is a repeated icon in my visual lexicon: the fruit is like a garnet ambrosia, an exalted potion that seeps through my paintings and intoxifies its subjects. Photographs of berries and botanical illustrations replace and adorn parts of the female body. Breasts become globular appendages that bubble up, guzzle down, shrivel, leak, and lactate. Influenced by folklore and mythology, I quote deities of jest, filth, lust, and light. Women embody the celebratory nature of the harvest alongside a certain burlesque attitude, performing a sumptuous dance between maiden, mother, and crone. Wanton figures of myth and fairytale embroil themselves within the monstrous feminine and the maternal grotesque.
I use alternative media and surfaces to emphasize a visceral mark. The spill of ink on nonporous, translucent drafting film (a.k.a. mylar) refers back to the body permeating beyond its own boundaries. The fluid is juxtaposed with collage elements; using solvents and other transfer methods I directly appropriate reference images from my archive. In recent installations, I suspend works throughout a space, making use of their translucency and presenting them as double-sided paintings that immerse the viewer in their own world. In other series, I paint using cranberry juice, which refers to my background and to the body in an abject narrative. I exploit the staining effect of the juice on antique linens or pillowcases.