My art is grounded in a practice of looking, an active engagement with the phenomenal world. To look at a leaf, light on a lake or litter in a city lot… to look at life; all this is part of my contemplative art practice. To look, really look, I don’t mean just glance, for "to really see takes time," as Georgia O’Keeffe once said, "like to have a friend takes time." It requires slowing down, opening up a non-judgmental space where genuine contact can be made. It is as Robert Irwin’s biography title states, "Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees." It is seeing with all the senses, a process of synchronizing mind and body.
This is radical looking, the kind of looking that could change one’s life; change the world. For if we practiced this kind of awareness and appreciation with each other and with all that is around us, we would see how precious and beautiful the world is, how precious we all are. We would see the connections beyond the labels that divide us, we would see that ultimately nothing is as fixed and solid as we imagine. We would see the space and luminosity, the magic and sacred nature of our world. This is what I try to record in my practice of looking, in my art, and what I hope others will experience when looking at my work… if they take the time.
I record moments of seeing, "flashes of perception," using a digital camera; recording them as stills or video depending on the nature of the "flash." The digital imagery is then translated into one of many formats, from cards and framed images to video installation and large-scale digital projection. Each is designed to engage the viewer in contemplative looking.
My photography is integrated into the larger context of my life as a Buddhist practitioner and interdisciplinary artist. The writings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist master and founder of Shambhala Buddhism, on art and meditation are at the core of my practice as an artist and teacher. As his views on art are also informed by the Japanese art forms of ikebana, cha-do and sumi-e painting, I have looked to their principles as guides for my own work.
I draw inspiration from other contemplative photographers, from the F64 group, Minor White and contemporaries like Mary Lang, John Daido Loori, George DeWolfe and Uta Barth. In the field of video, Bill Viola is a major influence. Beyond the world of photography, Robert Irwin’s work and writings on site-conditioned art, or work done "in response" is of particular interest to me.
I have been a fine artist for over 30 years incorporating photography to varying degrees in an interdisciplinary practice. Trained as a painter and printmaker, I have worked as a fulltime fiber artist, making art to wear for women for the past 20 years. My background in these other media informs my photography and my installation work.
My current interest is in making aesthetic interventions in public and private spaces to encourage contemplation in others. These site-conditioned works are designed to offer places of renewal and reflection where heightened awareness of one’s perceptions can happen. I am particularly interested in making "Rest…Rooms", secular spaces for reflection in high-stress environments such as hospitals, courthouses, airports, offices and schools.