Driftless, Can't See the Forest for the Trees
tumbleweed, birch eyes, weeping willow
My approach to imagery is corporeal. Seeking the smaller picture, I am fascinated by the minutiae of living things in primitive states. I personify forms from nature and the human body, drawn to manifestations of force action and reaction. As if complicit, objects become verbs: skin recoils, flesh droops, lianas choke and fungi cling; tree bark scars leaving crusty scabs, orifices pucker and engulf. Walking through the forest, my world is incarnate.
The title, Driftless: Can’t See the Forest for the Trees, refers to a real place – the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin. Metaphorically, the title confesses the micro-centricity that drives my vision. Valuing imperfection, my attempts to mimic nature are deliberately crude.
I liken the painstaking handiwork of human endeavor to the obsessive industry at work in the forest. The methods of my trade honor those of nature, in form and process, but the synthetic vocabulary is distinctly manmade.
in other words
Nouns: tumbleweed, knotted hair, sparrows’ nests, rats’ nests, beehives, scribbles, cherry blossoms, almond blossoms, thatch, basket weave, tornados, cross-hatching, twisters, whirlpools, swallows’ nests, pig sties, squirrels’ nests, a-frames, lean-tos, log cabins, cocoons, chrysalises, pupas, trash heaps, beavers’ dens, spiders’ webs, cob webs, river eddies, dustbowls
Adjectives: temporal, fragile, biodegradable, breakable, perishable, fetishistic, flexible, lenient, bendable, tangled, painstaking, tedious, repetitive, obsessive, artisanal, cumulative, picayune
Gerunds: nitpicking, bricklaying, thatching, weaving, stitching, knotting, crocheting, braiding, lanyard, macramé, nail-biting, cuticle-picking, scratching, licking, smoothing, patting, spinning
Materials: tinder, sticks, wire, paper, paste, string, band-aids, gauze, vines, lianas, trees of heaven