Nest. 2012. Found organic materials, steel, linen thread.
Nature’s ability to be both delicate and pristine while being dirty and rotting is fascinating. It combines the profane and unkempt in flesh and filth with the perfection and the sacred of crystalline water drops and untouched snow. My recent interest in the organic and natural world is a culmination of strands from my past. My childhood home was nestled in a dense mid-western forest, and the experience of living in this environment has influenced the aesthetic of my work. I see this influence in my attraction to the texture of upturned earth, rotting leaves, and patterns formed by gnarly bare braches against a grey sky. I spent much of my childhood making things in that house with my mother who was a passionate quilter. From her, I learned to stitch and weave delicate handcrafts, skills I continue to use daily.
This piece is the product of an exploration of nests as protected hallowed spaces that foster life. The nest itself is not only a representation of nature’s ability to nurture and protect, but also speaks to my personal feelings of loss towards my mother and childhood sanctuary. I have often found myself searching for the idyllic feeling of “home” and safety that is inevitably lost as we grow out of childhood. This nest- like space is my way of honoring and highlighting the beauty in both the sacred and profane in nature, intertwining them as inextricably as they exist on earth.
The process of creating this work has been meditative and personal. The repetition of gathering, cutting, and binding braches, while sacrificing my body to cuts and scratches from unwilling thorn branches, has intricately woven us together. In many ways I feel part of this installation. It has become not only a process of construction and engineering but also a refuge of my own. In this respect, presenting this show feels like a presentation of my home, a nest of my own making.