Whiskers and Quills
Graphite on paper, 2016-2017

Claws, fur, hair, whiskers; these parts of Animalia have a potency that not only accumulates an essence of being but also makes contact with the external world, and literally marks the external world, leaving a scratch, a scent, a line of hair, and tracing an interaction.

These drawings explore the strange and new results of dissolving the boundaries between these kinds of discreet parts and are based on plants and animals of the Central American rainforest. On one hand, I am drawing the forms, while on the other, I am also drawing the closeness of the space where two beings meet, the intimacy with the other. Sometimes, this is based in real experience as when I interacted with a wholly foreign animal, such as an anteater. Other times, the merging and the space between forms are conjured from my imagination or memory. These new forms play with categorical interpretation – they are both objects and subjects; they are both beings in the landscape and landscapes; they are both inanimate and alive; they are simultaneously talismans and the energy that is invoked.

Most, but not all of these drawings, were done with my non-dominant left hand; I am more focused on the individual marks and the unpredictable relationship between paper and artist than when I use my trained, right hand.

In this series, I am also re-working the tradition of western representation that builds/ documents/ re-presents a thing as it looks in the world, with each line and shape serving this goal. Instead, based on my own graphic tradition of abstraction and a language of marks, I pour presence and expression into every single line and shape, so that the overall object or texture that you read as fur, etc. is an accumulation of discreet, meaningful and unique interactions on the page. They are my own claw marks on the surface of my exterior self.