Refracted growth deals with concepts of growth, memory, and regeneration using the indexical language of botanical photograms and collage.
I grew up in gardens, surrounded by a family of gardeners. Flowers were always in our house, and have been consistently in my work for decades. They have come to be, in my work, stand-ins for aspects of my life.
Brightly colored organisms that bring forth life, made up of smaller forms, they have always felt like a good stand in for the smaller biological arena. All of life is made of various bodies, made up of smaller bodies, which in turn are made up of even smaller cells, which are the building blocks of life.
In the darkroom, I work with flowers that are meaningful to me – representing people, places, events, and phases of life. They rarely correspond to traditional symbolism. I break the flowers down into their elements, and make color photograms of the petals. I play with color within the pieces by choosing different flowers and then manipulating the filters in the darkroom, in order to evoke specific feelings or moods.
In the studio, I cut these prints out piece by piece, following the petal structures on the page, so that I start with the “cells” to build structures from. Shapes and color grow and mutate from the individual petal “cells” into collaged organisms: small wall pieces and installations. The pieces take on their own, new, forms, cellular in nature, but like all bodies, their own small universes.