About the Artist
I create prints, artist books, drawings, digital images, installations and video works. I received my BFA degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (1978) and my MFA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1981). My relief and silkscreen prints meld together abstract and readable letterforms extracted from Western, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern and Meso-American writing systems, graffiti, calligraphy, charts and maps. My art-making process involves excising segments of my printed images, repositioning, layering, and reassembling them into a matrix of patterns and glyphs that have become the trademark of my work. I am continually modifying my imagery, rebuilding and altering my prints into complex forms of novel permutations that are visually, technically, and conceptually connected. I continually experiment in adapting my printmaking practice to different types of technology and digital imaging programs.
My work has been exhibited in one-woman, international print biennials and triennials, invitational, group and juried shows. My prints are found in many museum and corporate collections including: the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Boston Public Library, The Fogg Museum, UCLA’s Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Art, California State University Long Beach, Museum of Art, Texas Tech University, National Museum of American Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution.
My printmaking studio is adjacent to my home in Durham, North Carolina, which looks out onto the Eno State Park. My dogs, Molly (a rescue dog age 14), Gus (a five year old Vizsla) and Aurora (a two year old Vizsla) are the best studio assistants one could wish for, although they do a lot of sleeping on the job!
Although I classify myself as a printmaker, with my chosen medium being woodcut, my finished works come in the form of prints, artists books, installations and videos. I cut and carve woodblocks, stencils, and paper to make highly meticulous, crafted works on paper. Through every stage of my image development, from the pristine cuts found in my woodblocks and my precise digitally developed drawings, to the fastidious paper cutouts in my completed prints and low-relief printed constructions, I focus on the manipulation of my surfaces. Printmaking becomes a vehicle for my means to an end, as I incorporate my printing process into different iterations of my ideas, thus expanding upon my initially envisioned piece. My prints have evolved into unique pieces, evoking the viewer’s curiosity, demanding to be read as a map, landscape, or a visual text that must be decoded through imaginative interpretation. With no natural focal point within the expanse of pattern, and form, the viewer’s eye “flows” continuously, following the lines and seeing a variety of intricate structures and relationships.
I am drawn to written languages that use extinct characters or ones that are unreadable to me. Exclusive of my work done in collaborative undertakings, my prints celebrate the beauty and graphic qualities of signs, glyphs and written forms. I merge these marks with aspects of calligraphy, typography, lines and shapes into an amalgamated written language of my own. My abstract forms, customarily contained within an entangled matrix, allude to signs and systems that are almost legible and familiar in their characters. Yet, they are as unreadable as any unfamiliar glyph. Through layering, I create unique combinations of visually patterned “tapestries”, resulting in rich, actively woven surfaces that suggest hidden codes and messages. Being highly aware of the communicative qualities of the signs and glyphs, my primary focus is on form, movement and context. My use of interwoven organizational systems and coding reflect my interests in urban planning, architecture, cartography and methods of way finding. The pathways found within my grids are unending, creating labyrinths with no exits. Like my cryptic letterforms, the mazes emphasize the complexity of my imagery, its formal qualities and the challenge of decoding enigmatic written systems.