I recently purchased a tract of raw land with the intention of building a cabin, and wasn't terribly surprised to find the land came with some impressive piles of junk. I was frankly enamored of these objects, abandoned but not destroyed by the previous owner. They had a potentially useful quality that resonated with other aspects of the Fairbanks community; transfer sites, the airplane graveyard behind the airport, old couches and tables and wooden spools that littered the yards of countless homes. This rural detritus represents a confluence of natural and cultural forces that Alaskans experience every day. I wish to investigate this transitional territory by abstracting and amplifying the fine line between usefulness and decay.
I believe that in this modern life, it is all too easy to assume that the world of nature and the world of human culture are totally separate. For me, this assumption was repeatedly challenged after experiencing the destructive power of nature during my childhood in Tornado Alley, and more recently, the subzero temperatures of Interior Alaska. I typically draw inspiration from daily observations of my environment, and as a result my imagery changed dramatically after I moved to the far North.
Despite the change of landscape, my core concept of investigating intersections of nature and culture remains the same. This is a fascinating task in the Alaskan Interior, as these intersections are clearly exposed. This community has a unique relationship to nature, as modern homes and businesses coexist with virtually untouched wilderness. These experiences have instilled in me a deep respect for the vast web of life that both supports and threatens my community, and motivates me to seek out and emphasize places where natural and artificial worlds collide using the malleable language of art and oil painting.