At one time or another, each of us has experienced the earnest desire to understand and bear witness to a real or imagined past. This body of work, American Histories, acknowledges those feelings and draws from and evokes key events and trends affecting American society and culture, and the lived experiences of individual people.
The series of pieces reflects the evolution of my work over the life of this project. Originally envisioned as a series of letters and photographs, I was frustrated that the pieces did not adequately engage the viewer with the experiences and shared humanity of those from another time whose history is a part of ours, but whose day to day experience was vastly different.
As I continued to research artistic approaches, I was particularly drawn to the assemblages of Joseph Cornell and Betye Saar.
The pieces that make up American Histories are composed of documents, letters, ephemera, found objects, and images from private collections or from the internet. Using photo transfer, a rarely seen and relatively new experimental enameling technique, I affixed the images to a copper plate covered with a vitreous enamel substrate. Subsequent kiln firing makes the images and recollection of a past prone to fading, permanent.