When One Space Meets Another
Artist Statement from the exhibition catalog
My father builds houses, so I spent much of my childhood on construction sites playing in ever-evolving spaces. Throughout most of my 20s I worked for my father learning rudimentary constructions skills, along with an appreciation for the transformative nature of labor and problem solving, and an understanding of buildings as complex, holistic systems.
At 28, I left working with my father to attend art school. Art school was, in part, an exercise in translating construction – my first language of making – into making art. This involved how I approached methods and materials and how I thought about space. Construction greatly shaped how I experience space as material, and art school expanded on that vocabulary.
When I began what eventually became this installation, I was thinking about my relationship to construction, how that history had influenced my art making, and how I missed the collective process of building a home. With these thoughts in mind, I returned to Maine to work in my father’s woodshop. I spent a few summers rummaging through his scrap piles (he saves everything – not a wasteful builder he), which pepper the outbuildings and woodlot behind his shop. I “doodled” with materials: nearly every sculpture in this exhibition is made from Dad’s construction site scraps. I also set up my own “construction sites” in the woods, playing around with combinations of scaffolding, planks, and platforms.
These experiments led to more thoughts about construction sites. I conceive of them as transitional zones that are part landscape, part architecture. Within this zone, an idiosyncratic infrastructure evolves to facilitate movement and activity. That infrastructure has its own well used materiality that nods toward the nomadic nature of construction sites. I love these attributes. I particularly love the early stages of construction when it’s possible to move through stud walls, when architectural space is still porous and part of the “outside”. Back at Dad’s shop, I started thinking about moving indoor spaces outside, so as an experiment I transposed the dimensions of the Owens upstairs gallery into the woods.
While mapping out the Owens, I thought about studio space as a construction site where both my construction and art skills comingled. I had already moved the Owens gallery outside; what would happen if I now transposed studio spaces onto the gallery site, in effect merging a variety of construction/studio sites into a single space? I later developed this idea at two residencies in Ireland, whose studio spaces, along with my “gallery in the woods” became components of When One Space Meets Another.
And that’s what you have here. An exercise in first bringing architectural space outside, bringing that outside space back inside, layering that transposition with the architectural markers of two more studio spaces to create When One Space Meets Another, my own landscape/architecture that joins different languages and spaces of making.