artist statements

T H E   N O T I O N   O F   S E L F - S I M I L A R I T Y

A collaboration with artists, Amber Stene & Jodi Lightner

By acknowledging the duplicated qualities of self-similarity as it exists in nature, this body of work considers how sisters replicate the physical attributes of one another. But beyond a shared appearance, there may also be an inherited tendency to think and feel alike. These artworks address this genetic paradigm and the polar urges that arise – to revel in ancestral similarities, and to seek out differences. They explore the notion of self-similarity within our closest genetic relationships.

Recent loss and physical separation prompted reflections on the sisterly bonds shared by collaborative artists Amber Stene and Jodi Lightner in the body of work, The notion of self-similarity. The 12 paintings show how in reacting to specific life-events, the similarity of sisters helped shape their outcomes. Within the notion of self-similarity came a deeper understanding of how one life affects another.

Six pieces were started by Stene, and six by Lightner. This approach allowed each artist to address issues unique to her own family relationships. A descriptive title accompanied each beginning work, expressing the originating artist’s sister-relationship. Those beginning works were then traded, with the second collaborative artist responding to the exchanged work as she discovered common ground within her own sister-relationship.

In this body, each artist applied her own visual vocabulary to all 12 works; Stene using the figure, Lightner working with the conceptual elements of ropes, rocks, and seeds. Both artists agree that each work in Self-similarity has been made stronger by their autonomous contributions to the collaborative efforts. 

In working closely on this project, Stene and Lightner began to notice similarities in their own thinking, while celebrating the differences in their stylistic approaches.

To the image portfolio, The notion of self-similarity.

 R E I N V E N T I N G   S E L F

A collaboration with artists, Amber Stene & Jodi Lightner

In response to today’s social pressures, Reinventing Self offers two female perspectives to altering one’s identity, and the thoughts and actions that ensue. 

The identity one wishes to have and the changes we choose to incorporate into our lives, can be a reflection of the environment and its pressures around us – especially the pressure of social media, as inferred by witnessing the actions of a-million-plus Facebook friends. The influence of this pressure to alter one’s persona, activities, or outlook manifests differently for each individual.

Recently, my collaborative partner for this body of work, Jodi Lightner and I have both found ourselves in new environments and surrounded by new attitudes – which required adaptation. Reflecting on this related experience, through this body of work, we discuss both physical and emotional adaptations. Our focus was to identify opportunities to adapt along with possible reactions that may manifest. This introspective process revealed disparate reactions to the pervasive inference that reinvention of one’s self is a necessity to gain acceptance in society.

What we do with this opportunity to adapt or change is up to each individual and affects the degree of reinvention of one’s self.

Six years after sharing side-by-side studios in grad school, Jodi and I have teamed up to complete this work. Drawing on our personal experiences from relocating and entering new social and work related environments, this collaborative work speaks on the human ability to adapt, alter, and ultimately reinvent one’s self to new places and situations.

To the image portfolio, Reinventing Self.

T H E   P R O C E S S   O F   E L I M I N A T I O N

MFA Thesis Exhibition

In this body of work, I explore the social dynamics of exclusion and inclusion — with specific focus on the search for acceptance. I view this search as an ongoing negotiation of our individual standing in society.

While my work is founded in reflections on personal experiences, it goes beyond the personal. The issues surrounding the search for acceptance are universal.

I'm addressing that negotiation through works located in the space between believability and improbability. I achieve this sense of paradox by combining implausible elements, utilizing unlikely scale, and combining rendering modes that emphasize ideas.

The medium of drawing provides the most effective parallel to the ever-changing nature of relationships in society. To communicate societal displacement, I use figurative subjects placed in situations that reference the feeling of disconnection.

I'm interested in leading the viewer to a place of uncertainty or tension — mirroring life. My intent is to create work that engages the viewer, provokes a response, interrogates perceptions, and questions logic. I want to give no easy answers.

Ultimately, I strive to create work that provokes an examination of the process of fitting into society.

To the image portfolio, The Process of Elimination.