I grew up in Lumberville, an artist community on the Delaware River in rural Bucks County, PA. I attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where I majored In Painting. Upon graduating, I returned to Bucks County to surround myself with the forests of my childhood.
While hiking with Rothko, my little weirdo dog, I began discovering the bones of local fauna. Eventually, the bones I collected overwhelmed my living space and I began incorporating them into my artwork.
As I had been painting pet portraits in oils for a number of years, it was a natural transition for me to paint the animals I found on my wanderings. These paintings, however, did not encapsulate the entirety of feeling I had for the sweet departed souls I encountered. So with the inspiration of Memento Mori, Transi Tombs, and Mourning Jewelry, I began using the bones in weavings and jewelry as a way to pay homage to and reflect on the lives of the animals.
It is very important to me that you know I feel a great sadness when I handle the bodies and bones that once were a part of the animals I use in my work. It is a heavy process. I imagine the lives of these animals I find, and my hope is that wherever they may be now, they might appreciate my intentions. I hope to bridge the gap between the lives of humans and the wild.
The art that I make allows me to connect with the animals who exist around me. I touch, examine, and experience their physicality, and am reminded of the fact that they too are living creatures deserving of respect and love. By transforming their evicted bodies, I hope to enhance the awareness of and connection to all souls who briefly share this planet.
A bone reminds us of death, reminds us of life. I hope then to share my art as a link between all beings. A reminder that we are built from bone and hope, and are mortal, and share this Earth with other hopeful mortal beings.
Time takes us all. We are a harmonious collection of cells, of life; an end is inherent. We humans have developed rituals and methods for remembrance, for reverence. This is a tradition I mean to extend to the wild animals who live among us. Reverence for creatures that desire like we do, fear like we do, and as much as ourselves, understand death as an inextricable aspect of life. It is made from bones; my jewelry is a reverence for life, all life. The wearer carries with them a life. Wild animals have something to teach us about death, an ease into the next step of our natural process.
I hope my work stands as a link between beings, a reminder of our mortality, and in the hopes that we can focus on being more aware of others lives and existence.
To all of the animals who lost their lives and have, in turn, inspired me and allow me to share my creative vision with you.
To D. F. Connelly who so generously and effortlessly translated my thoughts, creativity, and passion into words for this website.