Family is a maze from which we are continually escaping. In Edwin Muir’s poem “The Labyrinth” his hero follows “swift recoils, so many I almost feared / I’d meet myself returning at some smooth corner.” Inside this maze of family we observe heroes and monsters, the young and the old, the sick and the healthy, but we blur such distinctions when they apply to us personally.

I research the lives of my ancestry and the contemporary lives of the people closest to me, family and friends, using their imagery and stories to show the absurdity and wild nonsense of life. A common theme in both these stories and my images is that death happens without any delicacy or meaning, and that life and death are violent and precious. My drawings and paintings are an empathetic and paradoxical study of reality using hope and horror mixed.

I tear paper, cut out words, layer strips of tape, and spend days on intricate rendering. These actions are a bit like praying, meditative and repetitive, but, like my drawings, are ultimately temporary—significant in action but leaving nothing lasting. The evidence of hope in my work is in my process, the slow and small movements push against the trauma of life and death. My purpose is not to transform the nonsense or chaos of these lives into something palatable, but to see the chaos clearly, giving it a kind of order.

Along-side the brutal realism of my renderings are bursts of dreamlike magic. I want to have an organic flow between the differing worlds that exist inside a person: the real and tangible present world, the sometimes delusional spiritual, the surreal subconscious, the tangle of doubts, and the chimera of ideals. In my drawings and paintings I want to show the wild mix of hope and fear I see in the myths of my ancestors and the prophesy of future decedents.