. . . the occult, specifically as these things pertain to women and women’s wisdom and story-telling. To this end, I’m interested in process based strategies, many of which come from a background in textiles. Techniques such as layering and piecing to create large-scale, labor intensive aggregate works have become primary in my practice. These works tend to be more about the process rather than the resulting image, ultimately focusing on repetition, transparency, structure, incremental changes, and internal relationships. I am always interested in relatively small gestures and details. These techniques and approaches are applied beyond textiles to drawing, sculptural work, and video and applying them in these different ways becomes as much about making meaning as about any particular meaning.


Born Mary

They were both born Mary.


The first question is usually, and as it should be, “Where do I begin?” That place is arbitrary and requiring craft. The beginning is a myth. It doesn’t exist as fact, but as a place, in other words something embodied.  Something that has content. Not a time, as in  “when do I begin?”  Time as a measurement, as an abstraction does not possess the content from which anything can come. There is no traction, no friction, no impetus, no cause, no fodder.

Things begin at Mary.

Landscape is background. Homogenous, detailed, spacial, elaborate, specific.  It embodies processes over time. It values complexity over simplification.  It moves.

Generating knowledge is a power enterprise. That we do so according to our own design is the mark of freedom. Our identity is not critique, not in-relation, but instead a mandate to find its own way, in God’s image as creator.  A master copy whose content for translation to each successive generation, a creative imperative.

Mary master. Matriarchy.

I looked for a positive word that avoided the adverbial use of the word not to express the idea of not-instrumental and found there, unhelpful, useless. There are no positive ideas. Nothing inherent, nothing intrinsic.  Only absence. Guided by space. Female.



DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out. I was with some friends and we were looking at my hair and we were measuring how long my hair was to see if it needed to be cut and when they measured …

Motherhood: A Consideration of Moderation

“Why is your wife so intense?” asked my husband’s class of graduate students. He had just finished describing my response to their request of a pre-discussion lecture on a particular text.  I admit I had a strong reaction, but one I am still willing to defend. Students should learn how to confront material, formulate questions, and through …

Don’t Touch

DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out. There was another mother telling me that her son had a condition where his ears dripped lots and lots of wax and my son was trying to play with him and she …

Finding Background

Finding female background is like finding anything else, it requires moving out of view all of the things that are not female background. In the case of this subject however, it is hardly a subject in the usual sense. It is by nature the things that would be moved out of view, that fall away when one intends to focus his mind, his vision.

None-the-less if one had a collection of photographs and were asked, as in a police line-up, to identify the ones that partake of female background and the ones that do not, that task can be done. Then the answer to the question, what identifies these images as such is surely there, and so female background, like any other subject can be found, can be separated from a background that must be peculiar to it. A background that might be called foreground.

For one thing there are dogs, and usually more than one. There are often more than one woman and these groups or couples are usually very alike in dress, manner, physicality – it would be best if they were all twins or at least sisters. They are probably not facing the camera, even turning their backs on anyone who might look at them, or wearing a mask, or just closing their eyes. Sometimes they are camouflaged. (Sometimes the bandaid on the knee is similar to the color of the flesh and also to the color of the skirt). So like their surroundings they can barely be distinguished from the trees, the furniture, each other, so much so that sometimes they are invisible altogether. All that can be seen is a landscape: trees or buildings, very uniform and very still. Sometimes you are in the middle of a city and there are narrow paths that turn corners and lead to curved doorways and small alleys; you are always inside, but there is always something you can’t quite see or understand, but the suggestion that it exists is there Sometimes, when an activity can be glimpsed, it excludes you. It is between the sisters; it is their secret, but not purposefully
obscure, you just wouldn’t understand. Mostly because it is not for the understanding and that is something you don’t understand.

Hips thrust sharply forward.
Kneeling behind a table, forehead pressed against it.
Hanging over a rail.
In a tub – not infrequently.
Jumping into the air, more shadow left behind than legs and skirt and shoes.
Behind a veil of smoke of birds of paint of lace of feathers of leaves.
On the telephone.
Lounging on blankets in the grass among many.

You might mistake this action for inaction because it is not for something; it is quite indifferent to purpose. There is repetitive action visible in still objects: pleating, braiding, and lace. Maybe it is protecting itself with thorns and horns.

If someone were to look straight at it, it would cease to be background.

It must be approached like a wild animal: sidle up, avert your gaze, and be quiet.