Revisiting my childhood captivity in a religious cult and my escape as a young adult, I re-frame the established American narrative in the context of oppression and slavery, escape and rebirth. I explore themes of material culture and social constructs that mask the pervasive and insidious nature of patriarchy, corporatocracy, white privilege, and institutional racism, juxtaposing the hubris of mankind with the immutable laws of nature.
My journey has been a process of becoming bi-lingual: an understanding of history becomes real-time translation of visual language of a world encoded in whitewash.
I live at the iron forges where people were enslaved, just across the river from people enslaved on a tobacco plantation. In the morning I drive to my office where the enslaved once labored on the Canton Plantation. As I commune with artifacts and discover the origins of placenames, they give up more and more of their secrets. Every detail is a new nuance of language we have now learned to interpret.
In my work as an artist I have progressed from an exploration of nature to an understanding of anthropology as our part of natural history. Knowing the ground on which we walk means knowing what remnants of our human past lie under the forest canopy, knowing what the fields, oceans and rivers remember. I have discovered that this is sacred ground.