These images are shot on film, printed as fragmented images (many of them botanicals) on handmade Japanese gampi, then stitched back together, incorporating objects or additional needlework in the prints. I want to show the bewildering problem of trying to control growth in any forum--private, personal, economic, political. Life tends toward growth; our decisions to limit it are often painful, and sometimes silly.
I make images, so to speak, looking over my shoulder. My grandparentsâ?? values, their life on the land as immigrant family farmers, represent for me a rich soil for investigation and interpretation. But I am also heavily influenced by my reading, by psychological problems fictional characters endure in novels as well as the epigrammatic lyricism of poetry. Whatever my own psychological proclivities, as a teacher I can recognize in students the struggle between staying in a safe place and venturing out into unknown and, necessarily, frightening territory. The values of each are, at least generically, neutral. Somewhere, in a moment of hesitation, we recognize the struggle and conflict between growth and restraint. This is what's important. I keep coming back to that moment.