Ruin and Monument
In this work, I am thinking about the significance of earthly human existence, whether brief or long, and the legacy that each of us leaves to those who follow. The part of our lives that becomes our story after we have died is left in the hands of our families, friends, neighbors, and, sometimes, even our enemies. Generations of people who never actually met us may become familiar with the residue of our lives through tales about us, photographs of us, spaces we once inhabited and items we once owned. The stone placed over the piece of ground where they lay us may be plain or elaborate, or there may be no stone at all. However, we each are confronted with the inevitability that one day, we will no longer be able to affirm, contradict or defend what is said about us. This work seeks to exclaim the monumentality of mere existence, no matter what our accomplishments, in the human race. Through the act of making rubbings on paper of the tombstones of family members about whom I have heard many stories, but with whom have no personal experience, I am connecting with the intangible part of my lineage in a tangible way. There is a feeling of closeness and connection that occurs by just being in the presence of those from whom I am descended, but who now inhabit the ground. I incorporate these rubbings into nonrepresentational drawings that convey the energy of the stories that I have heard about each person.