ARTIST STATEMENT: DAPL PORTFOLIO
Currently, I am interested in highlighting awareness about environmental issues and social injustices within my artwork. In future artwork, I would like to amplify the complexity of these ideas. College courses have opened new avenues for my creative process to take form. In particular, from sculpture I learned how to utilize 3D perspective, balance pieces properly, and provide negative space. Sculpting integrates multiple aspects of art that touch all the senses and become interactive, which I love because it provides an immersive experience. Sculpting allows me to develop all aspects of my portfolio with more depth and options to impact society.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, the focus of my current portfolio, combines social justice and environmental issues. The artwork brings awareness to protecting indigenous peoples' sacred land, drinking water, and animal habitats in the Dakotas from the devastation the pipeline will bring. It is a powerful warning to society to not repeat this atrocity anywhere else in the world while presenting the need to unite against big oil companies and large corporations, forcing them to focus future development on 100% renewable energy sources.
Learning about the DAPL issue led me to create 14 pieces, but it doesn’t stop here. With every piece I create, I learn something new and further hone my skills. For example, while working on Oily Whooping Crane, I explored the realm of texture with palette knives and oil paint. I even considered using tar but realized that might get messy for storing the piece. However, exploring how to integrate tar would be an interesting future challenge. Similar to Oily Whooping Crane, Protect the Sacred #1, a pen/ink drawing, explores the notion of protecting indigenous peoples and environments. This piece further inspired the future possibility of bringing this drawing to life on a quilt symbolizing protection. The point is this portfolio has allowed me to dabble in many techniques, materials, concepts, and bold controversial topics to express how the environment (if it could talk) must be feeling. This portfolio is the inception of a large-scale, more complex theme, which I intend to expand on in the future.