What’s in a chair?
My work is an investigation into the power and potential of an often-overlooked everyday object, the chair. Chairs are a focus of my practice for both their formal qualities and their cultural associations. I became aware of the power of the chair to hold memory and history within itself. A wooden chair may evoke a time through the style of design but it is also a record of time noted by use and wear. Human memories are recorded in the marks made on these inanimate objects, and can be triggered or unlocked by altering what we know and expect the chair to be.
Using found furniture in my sculpture seemed only natural given my background in furniture making. I saw this as a way to encourage a more heightened awareness of aspects of our lives we take for granted. By isolating, preserving, protecting and enhancing these objects I can re-contextualize the chair, allowing for a richer exploration of the past, present and future. By removing or obscuring the traditional function of a chair I hope to convey comfortable and universal actions into conversations about inherent tradition and values that are reflected in social culture today. I want my viewer to leave my work remembering something from the past, perhaps something long forgotten, reminded of the importance of that memory. Memories of past experience are what make us who we are and who we will become. My practice seeks to understand and reveal the emotional and psychological history locked within the physical material of a wooden chair.
Non-Resident Studio Advisors: Jeffrey Clancy, Adam Manley
1. Nearing the End (detail), found chair, ash, paint, 22”x 22”x72”, 2014
2. Sometimes Breakfast Was A Messy Affair, found high chair, maple, paint, 34” x 25” x 41”, 2014
3. Sometimes Breakfast Was A Messy Affair (detail), found high chair, maple, paint, 34” x 25” x 41”, 2014
4. Untitled Chair-Crate Intersection (detail), found chair, poplar, 32” x 31” x 40”, 2013
5. Conversation, found chairs, poplar, paint, fabric, 28” x 56” x 39”, 2013
Headshot photo by Jessica J. Gardiner.