About My Art
The Altered Landscapes series depicts familiar settings in ways we havenít seen them before. They challenge us to reevaluate how we see our surroundings and remind us to see, not just look. The familiar becomes strange, somewhat fanciful, juxtaposing like with unlike, becoming metaphors.
In the Chinese Lantern Series, I use photos of lanterns that I took in China, and as the collage material I use not only my photos but images from vintage fruit and vegetable crate labels. The collages make subtle political statements, forcing us to confront this magnificent yet complex country in which nothing makes sense while everything makes sense.
In the Muse series, I examine roles of women all over the world and how they are the foundation of society. We admire the famous and well-known, but all women are worthy of our admiration if only because they get up every day and do what they need to do for the family and for survival.
I have set myself several constraints in my collages. I do not photograph anything with the intent of using the image in a collage, nor do I purchase a crate label with the intent of use. Narrowing the field to making something from what I already have limits my choice, which forces me to think more creatively. After all, if I have already taken a photo, whether on family occasions or travel, Iíve done so because the image is meaningful to me. Then, upon further examination, the possibilities for altering the landscape emerge. And that is exactly what I want to do Ė expand the field of vision for both myself and the viewer to possibilities that didnít exist before. Iíve chosen to do real cut and paste rather than manipulate images digitally. I think the result is less perfect and more personal.
When I begin work on a piece, I have an image of what I want to create and I print the photographs I think I will use. Sometimes what I conceive of comes out as planned, other times, the photos take over and the image is altered, and still other times, I may have to trash the entire work and start again after several days work.
So what do they all mean? I may have intent, but as always, the message is in the eye of the beholder, and it fluctuates as the knowledge, awareness, and mood of the beholder changes. Thereís no right or wrong interpretation Ė according to Chinese artist Liu Chun-Hau, ďArtistic creation is not mere decoration. The artist has to convey his inspiration to others while allowing them freedom of interpretation.Ē