Within our clothing, we find our identities, ourselves, and (to some extent) our homes. We inhabit our clothing as we do our skins. The notion of the skin as a form of clothing and covering – as well as the primary indicator of the form in question – is a central concept within my practice.
But clothing, like architecture, can also provide entry into other times, even entry into the elemental home which lies behind the matrix of skin, membrane, or material. In my work I attempt to elucidate these points of entry. My aim is to transport the viewer into a landscape outside of modern human culture to habitations and structures more heavily rooted in the subliminal – places of both the intimate and the psychological unknown – places hidden, terrifying, and mysterious – but places also irresistible, beautiful, and anciently familiar.
I find the disappearing traces of homesteading infrastructure and culture that litter rural Western Canada to be haunting. Our culture is rapidly removing itself from even the memory of a relatively recent historical phenomenon – an intertwining of nature with a hunting, and farming culture. I believe that the remnants of this world are capable of generating a deep, inner nostalgia for a clearer connection to the natural world. Culture is born out of nature, and, however far we seek to distance ourselves from the natural, culture is still dependent on nature for its support. My work attempts to look at the ‘skins’ that the past has left us for direction in an increasingly ‘unnatural’ cultural environment. I try to look through the ‘skins’ to the heart of what we hope and fear to see.