These paintings originate from the abundance of representations of nature that pervade the domestic landscape and in my belief that the proliferation of this imagery inhibits our ability to perceive ourselves as parts of nature. By foregrounding one of the least noticed representations of nature, I seek to expose our concepts of nature as social constructions mediated by a culture that values standardization and homogenization.
I use the floral patterning on mattresses as an example of an unnoticed, ready-made depiction of nature that can be understood as symbolic of femininity, fertility, and beauty. Pictured here, within the rigid structure of the greenhouse and in the context of this commercially made object, the decorations are meant to be understood as reflections of our own cultural hierarchies, exemplifying the way dominant attitudes about gender and domestic space get packaged in the guise of something "natural".
I consciously choose artifacts that reflect the American mythology of nature but the majority of the people who own these types of furnishings and decorations do not. Their floral mattresses, rugs, and wallpaper go unnoticed, and are accepted as unobtrusive and conventional. I use these images to call attention to the ways our philosophies of nature are implicit in its representations.
Several of the Greenhouse/Mattress paintings were exhibited in my MFA Thesis exhibition at the University of Florida in 2009. Since then, they have been popularly featured in a variety of group and solo shows, including in 2010 at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, NY; 2012's Flowered Over at Montevallo University and in 2013 at the Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis IN; in 2014 in Brooklyn's GlassHouse; Sorry I Miss You in 2015 at Bloomsburg University; and in 2017, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority acquired two of these paintings for their permanent collection where they now hang.