Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ, 2022, Natural History Institute, Prescott, AZ, 2021
Materials: Quetta pine needles
For the past twenty years, the pine forest of northern Arizona has become my studio, not as subject matter to draw or paint, but for discovery, observation and collecting materials that become the basis of new sculptures. Each spring, I kneel down under the pines picking up squirrel sticks (peeled twigs) that Abert squirrels feed on like corn on the cob and then drop as litter onto the forest floor below.
For two weeks in late May and early June, I collect the ponderosa pine pollen from male cones, and in November, I kneel once again on the forest floor within a pine grove and rake needles with my fingers, seperating them from othe debris. After a forest fire, I wander through the new and remarkable beauty that the fire has revealed as it helps to heal and sustain the forest it entered.
I like to believe that the trees I work under remember me when I enter their home, their arms embracing acceptance to come look, smell, listen and learn.
As a place-based visual storyteller, my job is to let these tall sentient beings tell their stories - of the places they live in and share with other nonhumans.
Now, more than ever, it is vital for us humans to listen to their voices.