I create work using methods and materials traditional to the furniture and textile industries in the United States, which become environments for characters and performance. This work explores the connection between the human body and architecture, specifically the relationship between Interior and Exterior. I am interested in the way social expectations shape and dominate the exterior, both physically and interpersonally, and how those forces impact the interior. One’s interior can either oppose external forces or submit to them. This internal positioning can happen physically (involving space) or intellectually and emotionally (within individuals).
The architecture of the work has a corporeal quality; the external shells are like skin, fleshy and protective, while the internal construction forms the skeleton of supportive ribs, formers, and bulkheads. Each sculpture’s social and architectural façade houses, or entraps, a human character who becomes the personification of the psyche melded with the physical structure. This interior characters’ behavior is dictated by the façade, which becomes a manifestation of social expectations or constraints.
This corporeal architecture questions gender identity and the traditional roles of masculine and feminine. Idealized feminine beauty is expressed by the sculptures’ refined exterior and decorative patterning as the construction displays masculine strength. The orb itself combines the two qualities into one domestic union. While the masculine elements of the sculptures are hidden, the feminine elements are overt. The external surfaces are further feminized by the viewer’s ability to penetrate the interior via decorative peepholes that provide voyeuristic glimpses of the constrained psyche while also acting as a security device.
Formally, the use of historical floral patterns, feminine colors, Queen Anne details, and ornate trimming elaborate on the idea of femininity and the decorative while the use of upholstery and carpentry techniques and furniture framing speak to the traditional masculine. I adopt these specialized, craft-based skills that have until recently formed the identity of the furniture and textile belt, both to preserve them and question their impact.