Ornament is designs, motifs, and patterns worked into objects for the pleasure of outline, color, or fantasy. Whether it is carved terra cotta embellishments, wrought iron tracery, wallpaper, light fixtures, furniture, cabinet handles, window placement, or any of the plethora of items that suffuse architectural spaces, this collection of parts assembles a collage of decorative layers fixed in my memory. Like anything we see every day, these decorative elements become so familiar as to work subliminally, like a visual background music noticed only when it disappears. By cutting designs from their familiar contexts, I am re-envisioning the complex display that I see in cityscapes and mediating to bring forward components reliant on other forms and making them into independent forms.
My installations generate visual distortions of tangible space and contort spaces that only coalesce in the mind's eye. Existing in an expanded world where the rules of reality don’t apply and form exists through illusion, wood folds like fabric and lace mimics steel. My work gives way to a bodily experience where the viewer is drawn in, but remains tentative about their own footing, like being momentarily overwhelmed when walking out of a bus station in an unfamiliar city and not quite knowing how to navigate.
Evolution is a constant part of a cityscape. As soon as a building is finished it starts to decay. Eventually the building gets torn down and another takes its place. The individual components of my work are assembled to construct an imaginary cityscape drawn from many places and times. Installations are temporary, only existing once in a particular place, to be disassembled and rebuilt anew each time.
The designs I utilize originate in the broad array of decorative motifs adorning ancient through contemporary architecture. Time’s progression resulted in transitioning of tastes of architects and patrons through both responses within one culture and interactions with others. Each new movement resulted in new buildings being constructed, conforming to their specific era's design ideals. With some buildings remaining standing past the duration of their particular design movements, cities have become a conglomeration of varying styles, all interacting as part of the contemporary urban fabric throughout the world.
Technological mediation plays a prominent role in the creation of each element of this work. I photograph patterns of interest as I travel which are used to generate drawings in a computer program. These drawings morph into simulated three-dimensional objects, which are manipulated before either being constructed as a three-dimensional object or once again flattened into a drawing. The drawings are then cut from a solid surface or transferred to a porcelain surface and hand painted to create the illusion of three-dimensionality.