Animals provide a connection, a point of passage, and a glimpse into seeing the world differently. How is their understanding of the world the same or different than our experiences?
Animals have language. Even if we don’t know what they are saying, their forms of communication are complex and varied. For example, elephants communicate with low frequency calls beyond the range of human hearing. And elephants use their feet to send signals through the ground to reach elephants up to twenty miles away. Monkeys can communicate not only with each other, but also with other species—they share the same words for “snake in tree” and “snake on the ground,” so that everyone knows where to look.
I want my artwork to convey animals’ capacity for full range of emotions, such as joy, grief, deceit, and empathy. Many people know that elephants grieve, but how many know that rats are merciful, crows deceive each other, and dolphins care for their aging elders?
In addition, many animals are indicators of what’s happening to our ecosystems. The sensitive permeable skin of frogs and other amphibians makes them early indicators of toxins in the environment—they are one of the first species to show adverse reactions to disruptions in the climate.
Regarding the technique for the Excavation Series
The technique used to create the multi-process “excavation” prints entails first coating Arches 88 paper with several transparent base layers followed by numerous layers of ink. After the layers of ink have dried, I use sandpaper or a palm sander to remove ink, thereby excavating colors and imagery below the surface. Sometimes I print an additional image as a final layer. The results are surprising and experimental. No two prints are ever the same.