What do the progeny owe to their ancestors? As objects deteriorate, and bodies dry up and turn to ash, what physical remnant except for the children and their children embody and remember? Making objects to acknowledge the lost ones honors those gone before. These objects create a physical marker to embody the saddest memories. In so doing, perhaps these sad events will reside in the paintings and objects instead of in the bodies of the following generations. My intent is to remove the decay inherent in these events, even events tragic in their irreconcilable contrasts.

Decay is often either incorporated or referenced in my work. In some ways I have come to love its strange beauty and smells. I suspend the decay to observe and even savor it. Capturing an image of the living body holds in place and suspends an idea of the physical form that never ceases to change and also continues to decay. And so I love aspects of the process, but I cannot love the process as a whole, at least not yet, because with decay there is also loss. Pablo Neruda writes in Fin de Mundo / Worlds End:

Some protocol must be found
For the establishing of absence


I am interested in the absence, for the recognition of loss makes for possibility. The realization that something has been is also the realization that something might be.

-Eric Shultis

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