What's your workspace like?
I have two studios-one in New York where I create smaller-scale works and develop new projects and another in Maryland where I construct large-scale works. These two allow for a range of freedom in creation and working styles. For a sculptor, space is imperative, and in Maryland I work out of a barn, which is very organic and connected to nature and environmental elements. My New York studio is more “civilized” and is located in Brooklyn.
When and where do you like to create your art?
I like to create my work between these two studios depending on the project. For drawings and development of new work and smaller pieces, New York is where I primarily work. Larger installations and rough site tests occur in my rural Maryland studio where I have access to much more space and open land areas. I rotate between these locations seasonally, with summers often spent in Maryland and the rest of the year in New York.
How do you prepare for a new project?
After I have developed a core concept for a new project, I research and look for relevant data and imagery to support the concept. Sketches and drawings help to flesh out an idea; I often draw and redraw an idea in different contexts and perspectives to determine the form, scale, and overall “feel” of the work. This stage can be extensive, and I spend much time contemplating a new work, developing the idea and structuring its components prior to physically building, creating ,or sculpting a new piece.
Tell us something surprising about your creative process or your working style.
After a concept is developed, researched, and planned, I allow myself to work intuitively, reacting to my own experience of creating a work. I often become physically immersed in the creation and as I am using a lot of natural materials such as soil, plants, and water. It is a very messy process that harkens back to childhood days of playing in streams and creeks.
For the St. Johns River installation, I referenced imagery of sites along the river and imagined how these would translate to the piece, placing hand-sculpted trees and foliage along the path of the waterway. Consideration of how these areas look and “feel” is a very intense process, and I am extremely focused. It did not impact the intensity or focus of this stage of development of the installation when I was nearly eight and half months pregnant with my first child; this seemed to heighten my awareness of the details of the work.