I recently gave up my studio in Brooklyn to make art from home and prepare for the arrival of our first child. I have always considered “place” in my work as I have moved from growing up in the Sonoran desert and the suburban sprawl of Phoenix to dense cities along the East and West Coasts. At eight-months pregnant, my body has changed a lot, and as I experience the movements of my baby, I imagine “place” as something completely different for her. Insulated and contained, the womb only allows her abstractions; muffled sounds, partial lights, and erratic movements. The instinct to care for her in her little world translates into a strong desire to care for my own home, to clean-out and make comfortable, drawing me far from the fast and needy city. Yet, at the same time, I look for ways to maintain my social connections and friendships and for ways to make visible the ties between our child’s life and the place where my husband and I both grew up, and where our families live.
For this project I photographed decaying areas of New York City: paint peeling in the subways, layers of dirt and grime in the streets. I isolated one image from the series and recreated multiple wall hangings out of discarded household items and packing materials. Resembling a human profile, the old towels, t-shirts, and intimates as well as cardboard, stained carpet and joint compound, create a wallpaper-like, decorative pattern. Installed in our bedroom, the meaning and history of this image and of the discarded materials are recontextualized by the interiority and intimacy of the space. A sense of the tangible and the intangible becomes visible and the process of defining who we are and what we see, both concrete and ambiguous, takes shape.