Pushing Shapes
 
I make abstract work from the shed skin of our material and messaging culture. Where vacated shapes become sites of meaning and relationships between the body and the body of objects emerge. The clear, vacuum-formed packages that keep salads fresh and display children’s toys are my point of departure. The discarded containers collected from family and friends are both hyper-visible and invisible. They shift in and out of sight according to their function or accumulation and disposal. Intertwined with our everyday experiences they are placeless, abundant, ungrounded and everywhere.
 
I combine these hard geometric shapes into sculptures resembling multi-form bodies or volumes. I then make a plaster mold of the sculpture into which glass is blown: the glass vessels become a representation of the empty mold. There is a physicality to this labor-intensive process that engages chance, where breath pushes glass into the strangeness and limits of shape. The vessels seem to gesture. They lean. They slump. Their form communicates with the senses. Some pieces have protruding textured forms, like parts of a body or growths. Some appear carved or indented, while others resemble boxes. Questions related to visibility, corporeality, value, vulnerability and permanence arise from the associations we attach to materials and the way we engage metaphorically with the container. We map absence through abstraction and find a possible path to intimacy.
 









I explore the discarded shapes of material culture as sites of meaning, obscuring and revealing what seems to be in the background. I look for possibilities within abstraction to question familiar narratives.
The everyday offers up the abstract familiar, shapes whose first purpose has passed. Their ambiguity, both familiar and unfamiliar, questions what is seen and meaningful. Shape becomes presence and void allowing for multiple meanings and metaphor. These discarded abstractions are akin to the idea of ‘loose parts’ in children’s creativity, a theory of open-ended learning that empowers imagination and references the seemingly ‘useless’ time of play.
Plastic containers and the cardboard from toy and product packaging, as well as clothing and patterned fabric underscore the relationship between the physical body and the body of objects. The inclusion of joint compound, dirt and sweepings from my studio floor fold together evidence of the physical act of making.