"Screen Doors" Solo Show - Artist Statement
"A screen door is a both a protected entrance and an exit with a full view of possibility. It symbolizes both help and hinderance… a mere matter of perspective, as most things often are.
In this latest series of my work, I explore the deeply emotional topic of self-love from my perspective as a woman. While each of our stories is supremely unique, it is also the universal quest for love with which we have all been presented…often the most nuanced journey we will ever take, full of agonizing reflection and quiet, simple victories. It requires deep excavation to recover our self-worth from a culture attempting to change everything about us only to sell us back our confidence. We are formed by a system of impossible, manmade standards for relevance and then subjected to a harsh deprogramming to avoid becoming another of its products on the conveyor belt. The best stories often start where discomfort and the disillusionment of our reality begins.
At the beginning, we find ourselves in the threshold of the screen door, looking out. The justified anger creeps in when we realized we have been fully trapped behind this carefully crafted netting, not protected by it. The guilt and complicity of living in the simultaneous comfort and distress weighs on us. The painful deconstruction process chips away at the impossible standards we have bought into for ourselves over and over again. There is the inevitable point when we long to run away and abandon all this hard work. The courageous decision to open the door precedes a rush of anxiety for what unfamiliarity lurks on the other side. The excitement of realizing life on your own terms is unmatched. We pause to celebrate when we take back a structure for ourselves that was once used to keep us contained. Because progress is not linear, maybe we run back behind the screen door when all the outside elements feel like too much for us to bear… after all, the door swings both ways. We stop to center ourselves…some days true joy is more elusive, but it’s there. We remember with relief that we get to set our own terms of progress and accomplishment. At some point we won’t resent the screen door, and we will look back on it with gratitude. It did provide an educational view for us until we were ready to emerge. And finally, the hard-won pride of ultimate freedom will eventually outweigh the lingering doubt, and we will settle into the normalcy of a deep love for who we have found ourselves to be.
If I have just one, standing, primary goal throughout my entire career, in every piece of art I create, it is to make others feel truly seen… to feel understood in the fullest sense of the word. I want every person to catch a glimpse of themselves represented in my work. This Screen Doors series might be one woman’s autobiographical perspective, but far more importantly, it is an invitation to understand the similarities we share in our respective journeys to self-love. It is a passionate attempt to hold up a mirror and to disarm the efforts to keep us at war with ourselves."