The Soul Is A Light Housekeeper

For one year, at the end of every month, I collected and saved the contents of my vacuum cleaner. I simply dumped the contents into a plastic grocery bag, labeled the bag with the month, and placed it in a dark corner of my attic to incubate. This routine was free of intention or purpose. I valued the monthly ritual and somehow was comforted to know that this practice was now part of living a life in my home, of taking care.

After the year passed, I brought the bags downstairs to my studio. As I opened each month, I methodically spread out the contents on a piece of artist paper. And I was mesmerized by what I saw. The shedded hair of my dog Tyner was now matted and entangled in a strange dark and dusty beauty. Death transformed the ladybugs that once gathered on the sun-drenched living room windows into shells of enameled amber - headless, legless. My usual fright of wasps and bees gave way to tenderness - their frozen poses now elegiac and wistful. The dense clumps of pollen from April made my throat tighten. Everywhere - remnants from my woods and garden were woven into the debris. I puzzled over things I couldn’t place - a short cutting of green wire, a wad of red chewing gum, confetti, the hot pink #7, a decorated crushed egg shell, pustules of waxen plastic, a broken silver ring.

Scaled to the actual size of the material, the photographs possess a peculiar beauty as they simultaneously attract and repulse. Ideas of relic and artifact suggest archaeological material, in that the collections are actual physical evidence and biological proof of what was. They also are biographical and autobiographical detritus, commenting both on the former life of the material itself and on my life as the generator and gatherer of the remains. 

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