In the category of learning something unexpected, here is an interactive site specific installation I made for a printmaking exhibition at the Detroit Focus Gallery (Detroit, Michigan) in 1983. The piece began with a grid of red numbers stenciled on the wall. Under each number was a small collage, made from fragments of drawings and shiny things left over from other projects- often these fragments were hand sewn together, threads left to hang- with an emphasis on the layers and edges.The red numbers corresponded to the dates that the exhibition was open. On a small table placed below the grid was a pile of pre –addressed, postage paid, business envelopes. These envelopes came in the mail with various unwanted Direct Mail offers for credit card applications, life insurance, ma...
The way I work generates a certain amount of material, usually some form of drawing media on paper, that does not end up being used in the initial project. Sometimes this is because the only way to test an idea out is to start working with it and see where it wants to go. Where it wants to go may not fit this time but could end up being the starting point for something else or just what is needed to combine with something in the future. Shown here is a single collage, made from left over drawings, that was part of my installation Guest Guide Book 1992 (the first version), made in homage to Gordy Richardson, for the University of Dayton alumni exhibition Remembering Gordy 1992.
On a spring afternoon in 1992, my 6 year old daughter came up the stairs to my 3rd floor studio as I was finishing this drawing. Neil Young’s song Only Love Can Break YourHeart was playing on the radio. A line from this song captured my attention. I wrote I was always thinking across the top of the drawing, and asked my daughter, as she stood next to the drawing board, What am I always thinking about?. Without hesitation, she answered About me. and then about school and about playing. And so, the full title became:I was Always Thinking (about Aurora and about Schooland Playing) .
In this detail from a test drawing c 2008: some of my favorite vocabulary items: a furry oak leaf, human blood pattern, concentric circles, handwritten letters/numbers from a scientific diagram are drawn over a street map of my neighborhood. Also making an appearance- my house, unmoored- to float or to be swept away across the implied movement of the many semi-transparent layers.