This series began as a spin-off from my earlier project Social Observations, as I was interested in continuing to depict social interactions and historical commentary, but wanted to experiment with developing non-linear narratives and using pre-existing source imagery. Drawing on varied sources from the Old Masters to popular imagery—from Albrecht Durer to Victorian clip art—I create seamless prints that belie their heterogeneous origins. This process is, as I see it, a form of “image sustainability,” a recycling of past imagery into new forms that combine digital technologies with hand-made processes of etching, sewing, and chine-collé. The resulting prints, from the series titled Mystorical Constructions, have prompted viewers to wonder not just how they were made, but when—are they historical artifacts or contemporary fictions?
Both monumental and intimate in scale, the historic images I re-purpose are seductive. They prompt in viewers a nostalgia for fairy tales and whimsical stories, and yet they also generate disquieting and open-ended narratives. Bird-women peer over an infirm patient in the woods—are they caregivers or life-takers? In another, a woman and child are adrift in a stormy sea—are they fleeing an unknown horror or escaping to safety? Similar to the Social Observations series, these works recreate modern experiences, but filtered through a historical lens.