Let Him Speak First (positives and negatives)
deconstructed wallpaper, cast paper, glue, wood
These pieces began in 2011 as the objects and material that made up Keeping Up Appearances numbers 2-5. Concerned about the wear and tear from the abundance of nails and pins it took to install each arrangement, I chose to retire the series in 2015. Under a new title I reconfigured the parts into two corresponding wall-hangings that regard the complex nature of home in a less direct way than the parent series. These new works speak more to the unseen dynamics of living that leave a residue on the spaces we occupy, no matter how well-constructed the veneer.
“Let Him Speak First” is a phrase pulled from a vintage advice book for new wives pointing to a domestic hierarchy that still informs power dynamics within contemporary culture: " Him” being a vague presence more important than oneself.
I spend my days in the studio literally and metaphorically breaking down once coveted ideals of domestic symbols of success and beauty. I take printed materials such as wallpaper, upholstery, or porcelain ware, and separate out the pattern from its ground, isolating and removing all of the items of embellishment. I make counterfeit objects through casting paper pulp to rearrange and reassemble them into new forms that become encrusted concentrated quantities of harvested print. What is left is a depleted skin of negative space filled with voids from the extracted printed matter that serves as a counter to the abundance. ‘Let Him Speak First,’ a faked composite of chandeliers, area rug, rosettes, and porcelain ware are all just a series of hollow paper skins. A collection of objects of value without purpose, overgrown, and incomplete.