Location: Portland, OR, United States
Although I never depict actual people in my staged and photographed miniature scenes, the human psyche is undeniably at the center of my work. I am fascinated by the psychological landscape, our search for meaning and the contradictions of human existence. Countless stories, myths and artworks throughout history address these same concerns. I have found much rich source material to inspire my own interpretations for the series I present here.
Patriarchy has controlled the narrative for 10,000 years. Historic artworks, tales, and mythology most frequently presented women as objects of beauty, passivity, or scorn. In my research, time and time again, the women in myths, folk tales, the Bible, and elsewhere were held responsible for causing both the world’s ills and the failings of men. This included their own rapes, which are recounted in mythology with shocking frequency, and are always deemed the women’s fault, justifying their inevitable and eternal punishments.
In my staged miniature series, Reclaiming the Muse, I examine the roles of women from these stories, recasting them as active players in contemporary scenes, at times assuming the role formerly held by the powerful admired man. Of course, this is not a novel idea. Creating variations and reinterpretations of past tales and depictions is an age-old tradition, practiced throughout art history. In focusing on the women, often not acknowledged as anything other than an object of beauty or derision in these old depictions, I strive to present the muse from her viewpoint, with agency, furthering the issues important to me as a contemporary female artist.