Artist Statement 2016
Artist. Activist. Student.
I am an artist who fuses my journey in visual arts with activism for Narcolepsy/ Cataplexy, a rare neurological condition that I live with. Ceramic work and the dedication it demands has given me a renewed sense of purpose. Something that years of an opiate addiction robbed me of.
‘Chase the Solution Not the Dragon’ ceramic vase references a 16th century Chinese piece. I incorporated some contemporary text and imagery to reference the Fentanyl epidemic in Canada. The fentanyl that is killing hundreds of people is believed to be coming from China; it’s a personal topic for me as I lost my housemate just over a year ago, my best friend 8 years ago, and struggled with an opioid addiction myself.
I make art based on my own personal experiences with an emphasis on starting uncomfortable conversations—boldly sharing about living with an invisible disability that is highly stigmatized by the media. I share those struggles in hopes that they reach those who need to hear that message of hope.
When I’m at the wheel, I don’t feel tired. I am not fighting off sleep. I am just innocent and present in the moment. The clay reflects back honesty about where I am. It teaches me self-care, patience, and humility. Without that perspective of self, I am vulnerable to the pitfalls of my past. A balancing act between heart, head, and hand.
Advocacy helps me to confront my fears and to continue the healing process within, while resisting the urge to feel isolated and alone. My work in ceramics has been evolving: from strictly functional, to incorporating printmaking techniques, and experimenting with light/ installations. The repetition that functional work required helped me to develop my eye and my own sense of style. As my technical ability increases, so does the meaning.
Artist Statement 2015
For Love of Clay
My journey with ceramics is a reflection of my transformation. I found an inner peace in the solitude and repetition of making a mug. A change happened within that process. A change that was both inner and outer, on the wheel and in my life. Tortured by considerable self-doubt and past trauma. I listened to my peers and mentors. I believed in the process.
Ceramic work and the dedication it demands has given me a renewed sense of purpose. When I am at the wheel, I don’t feel tired. I am not fighting off sleep. I am just innocent and genuine. The clay reflects back honesty about where I am at that I am unable to see in the mirror. It teaches me self-care, patience, and humility. Without that perspective of self I am vulnerable to the pitfalls of my past.
When the clay rises between my fingers, I feel the clay move and see it grow upwards and it is then that I truly feel free. Over the years I have explored many mediums, but clay has always resonated most highly with me.
From the little monsters in preschool to the elegant vases in university, my memories of growing up are most vibrant in those creative times.
No matter how long we drifted apart, it has always been about clay. Something deep inside me loves cups, mugs, and cylindrical thrown vessels. I believe I am drawn to making items of function because I struggle to be a functioning member of society. I offer function to others to mirror that. A therapeutic need to be of service. There is a component of irony that goes unsaid, a person who struggles with wakefulness making vessels that contribute to others being awake.
Artist Statement 2014
I am an artist that struggles with balance: searching for that elusive equilibrium between mind, spirit, and hands in the creation of art for everyday life. My obsession with utilitarian work mirrors what I imagine to be the motivation underlying contemporary street art: making a place for art in our daily lives.