New Artist Statement in Process
Hello! I'm working on updating my artist statement. Below is a draft of the full 500-word version (that I can cut down as needed for various applications, but would live on this website along with a 250-word version). If you want, feel free to share your first impressions, using the following questions as guideposts:
What is the strongest language -- words/phrases that linger with you?
After reading the statement, is it clear what kind of art I make?
Is it clear why I do it? Why (I hope) it matters in the world? And how I do it?
Does it make you want to see my work?
If you already know my work (a bit or a lot), does it sound like what I make, or more aspirational, something I'm reaching for but doesn't quite fit yet?
Thank you for reading and any help you'd like to give! Observations and questions are welcome, prescriptions less so. No troll remarks needed, either :)
As a playwright and writer across disciplines, I examine the gaps dividing genres, people, perspectives and my own disjointed fragments. Studying the distance between us, I seek connection across differences. I write what terrifies me, juxtaposing the rough and the funny, the silken and sharp, the gorgeous and grotesque to catch a glimpse at what it means to exist on this planet.
Writing teaches me to trust my brain and get present in my body, two things I once thought impossible for me. Swimming through memories I can't believe happened, I mine monsters that plagued me through child-and-early-adulthood (and still chase me down), amplifying them to mythic metaphors in locations loaded with personal history, so I can grapple with my mind as a human who lives in an absurd world, just like you. By revealing my most vulnerable secrets, I hope we can see each other more clearly.
Sensory details spark mirror neurons that unite nervous systems. In my work, tactile language, playful contradictions, kinetic imagery and haunted landscapes bridge spaces between words, between universes, between you and me. As I exorcise my past, my peripheral vision widens. Disparate pathways coalesce. Through searching research, conversations, surveys and letters shared with me, I uncover how my disorders, scars, terrors, regrets, curiosities, heartbeats, delights and wonders link with yours, the earth’s and the cosmos’. I pour together collected stories, observations and devised collaborations in hot lava stew, cooking our rawest parts together. Cathartic release brings breath.
My play see in the dark: a new myth churns a recurring nightmare from my adolescence with our fears of the other and climate disaster. In a future Juneau, Alaska when all the glaciers have melted, the ice fields have vanished and nothing is recognizable, an isolated community of mutant outsiders must decide what to do with a newcomer: the young girl with a great power that threatens to destroy their village and everyone in it. This play collides environmental collapse, collectivism, poetry, a genocidal shadow beast, radical love and the value of compassion over suspicion.
By physicalizing my most difficult moments and mashing them with yours, along with surprising bursts of dazzling beauty flooding with waterfalls, oceans and mystical forces, I hope laughter and meet-cute swoons can bubble alongside the heartbreaking brutality of reality. It's hard being alive today. I want us to take more time to pay attention with intention, to see that the things inside us we can’t bear to acknowledge also overwhelm the stranger next to us, those too far away to comprehend, nonhuman persons and unrecognizable entities – and that we share intoxicating joys, dreams, desires, too. I want us to take stock of our hidden monstrosities. Without shame, we can unveil, heal and embrace our weightiest, wildest places for love of interdependence between everything. What if we held unconditional friendliness toward all citizens of the multiverse, ourselves included? I want to hold out a hand and sit with you through your struggle.
Together we can get through this thing called life.
1/21/2022 10:29:13 am
Thanks for your feedback, Robert!
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: