The Fortitude Series
The Fortitude Series is rooted in an arduous, performative display of up-building the Self. It was developed out of a desire to visualize a growing conversation around queer agency and personal pain; how one can buoy or reduce the other. One may feel called to be of use to the world in a specific way, such as in addressing larger, existential crises- climate change, our eroding and changing landscapes, numerous social and racial injustices that are ensnared in our use of land, or the oppressed's agency. One may feel called to nourish, pour out what they feel may soothe great pain and rectify much wrong doing to people and lands. Yet, what if that individual is caught up and hindered by personal strife outside of and/or within the Self? What if they are pouring from a cracked, broken pitcher? What must they gain before they can give- how can someone such as myself stand straighter so that I can be more useful? Ultimately, the combination of performative action, photographic documentation, and ceramic wares is a means to search for a visual, action-based language which negotiates larger issues; all the while knowing that whole aspects of the Self must be shifted so as to be a part of that larger, cultural shift. A sense of Self preservation, Self agency, and a right to a voice and space is crucial in tackling greater dangers, “which is why, as someone who thinks climate is the most important thing in the world right now, I am still [making work] about feminism and women’s rights.”1 The combination of Iowan landscapes, Sappic visuals, and the pursuit of knowing the Midwest landscape as a history in and of itself drives this work forward.
1. Rebecca Solnit, “Feminism: The Men Arrive,” The Mother of All Questions, (Chicago, Haymarket, 2017), 96.