NEVERMORE Artist Statement
I have always been drawn to water. It has been a recurring theme in my films and dioramas, from kitchen sinks and umbrellas to the wrath of the sea.
In an old photograph my parents are pictured kayaking down the street after a particularly heavy summer rain. My home becomes some other place. There is an unsettling beauty in human creation overtaken by nature; flooding causes the familiar to become alien.
As a child I read a book about a toad that lived in a house full of water. I often imagined myself living in a house full of water, swimming down the halls. I forgot the narrative, but the submerged home remained in my unconscious mind. Recently I learned that this book was “The Tale of Jeremy Fisher,” a century old story by Beatrix Potter about a frog that lived in a “slippy-sloppy” house by a pond. All the different frogs and toads from books such as “The Wind in the Willows” and “Frog and Toad” had combined in my head to create an alternate universe of anthropomorphic amphibians living in watery domiciles.
This series of dioramas depicts the collision of domestic space and nature, using a toad’s home as the starting point. Common materials such as book covers, wax paper and grocery store circulars are combined and layered in space to create immersive environments. I use peepholes, forced perspective, and other illusions to create spaces that merge and muddle the notions of sculpture, painting and cinema.
The world of Nevermore is a visceral, sensual space where everyday acts such as bathing and drinking are frozen in time, as if trapped in amber. Beneath its playful surface there is a sense of longing for a place that never existed, and never will again.