It's been four years since your first show on BSDA! How have you been? What's changed since 2014? What hasn't changed?
Yea! I'm so glad to be back! I would say a lot has changed, but also maybe not much. I was looking at my paintings I did for the 2014 BSDA show, and I think it's so interesting that similar themes keep showing up in my work. Back then I was relying heavily on photography and focusing on memory, but landscapes and the figure were still prominent, and since then I have set photography aside and have been really trying to create my own world and what I like to think of as a glossary of images and symbols, with more of an emphasis on illustration.
I have to ask - what is the story behind the painting All The Fridas?
A large part of what caused me to move away from using photos and try to create my own worlds was that I went on a road trip to see "In Wonderland"- women in surrealism at LACMA and actually ended up missing the show but I snagged the show book/catalogue and became somewhat obsessed with Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington. I have, like most people, always been a fan of Frida but I don't think I really knew her work until then, and her piece Two Fridas became one of my favorites. It depicts two of her selves sitting side by side and connected by their hearts. I wanted to pay homage to that, but think more about women and female identifying people as a collective being connected. I love the duality in Two Fridas, the self reflection, but I wanted to explore and create thought about ourselves being reflected in others, and perhaps help us as women to lift one another up, rather than tear one another down. If we can see ourselves in the people around us, it can enable us to empathize more and realize that we are not alone.
It's super interesting how the women figures in these paintings have trees, flowers and animals across their clothes, hair and faces. How do the themes of Return, Reflection and Vessel connect to these objects?
It is a similar idea to the interconnectivity of people like in All the Fridas, but instead focusing on the interconnectivity of nature and us, and seeing ourselves in nature and nature within ourselves. I live in the bay area and grew up across the bay from Mt. Tamalpais - which my mom always told me and my sister was named by the Miwoks and meant the 'sleeping lady' (this is one of those situations where upon reflection and with a little wikipedia, I now know is a little less straightforward than that, but isn't that how it always goes) and I always thought about that. What if the earth literally is us? What if we considered the earth, the land, our living and breathing selves? Would we take more care of it? Our bodies are infinite ecosystems, and live upon and within another infinite, wilder than we could even imagine ecosystem, it's pretty neat.
Folklore and mysticism appear to be an influence in your work. If nothing else just the connection between psyche and the natural world. Does this connection have a specific origin for you? A specific meaning?
The symbolic meanings of nature, of mother nature, of the connection between the wilderness and our own wildness have always resonated with me. I am so fascinated by our ability as a society to try and control and make sense of this magical natural world that is so much more complicated than we could possibly imagine, and I think the same is true for ourselves.