With the works in “Vanitas Tea,” I’m attempting to articulate the ‘in-between’, where notions of presence and absence are highlighted. I’ve long been attracted to the middle ground between polarities: perfection/imperfection, simplicity/complexity, abstraction/realism, repulsion/desire. Bird images have been a relative constant in my art since birds have long occupied the space in-between. In myth and metaphor, they travel between worlds – as both messengers and vehicles. The birds represented in “Vanitas Tea” remain anonymous, yet intimate.

These contemporary vanitas images, like their predecessors of the seventeenth century, are meant to convey the dynamic tension between life’s beauty and its fleeting nature. Created in a monochromatic palette, light and texture become the prime means of expression. The translucency of the images explores the elusive and fading character of memory and contributes to their nostalgic quality. They yield to the impermanence and contingencies of life.

The birds and tea bags being given a second chance at entering the entropic cycle create a certain tension. By recasting their functionality, something new is created from these objects that have outlived their usefulness – they come together in simultaneous acknowledgment of death and detainment. Further conflict arises by the enjoyment evoked from the sensuous depiction of the subject and the message.
The works in “Vanitas Tea” are very process-driven and the resulting image is always a surprise. This keeps me sincere and present. The repetitive actions required in their making induce something of a meditative state as well. I find the stitching or repairing to be both pathetic and beautiful, and intensely human. I continue making with the awareness that in the midst of impermanence is the incredible gift of life.