Over the last three years my artwork has shifted away from the tongue and cheek, pseudo-science of the Nomadic Fungi Institute to a stripped-down investigation of the city I live in. This shift was not a deliberate, intellectual decision on my part, but rather an attempt to disperse personal chaos generated by our current social and political climate. It became critical to me to not add more disinformation into the world.
I found myself asking a basic question: What the hell is true? Where do I find certainty? The simple answer was to look under my own feet at the physical ground I stand on. This piece of earth I know to be solid and true. It is my home. But take a step and ask again. What is this piece of earth? And what about the next step? It didn’t take long to discover just outside my door were deep layers of embedded history.
In order to concentrate on the history and the physical experience of creating onsite, I reduced my art medium to the simplest of drawing materials: pen, brush, ink, 4” x 6” watercolor paper and a folding camp chair. With these tools stowed away in my backpack, I can access places near and far where the separation between history and time runs thin.
These thin spots at first were hard to find. There is a lot of hype in our community that I had plow through before finding these thin places. But eventually the surface debris was pushed away, and a baseball field becomes a POW camp; a corner lamp post becomes a lynching post; a golf course becomes a thriving Caddo village; an abandoned swimming pool becomes the Fort that helped push the native people out of Texas.
On Sunday, January 10th I sat across from three resting bulldozers. Between us are the scattered piles of logs that once composed the GC & SF railroad trestle. For 125 years this trestle successfully spanned the Trinity River. As I draw, I am connecting to what was, what is now, and what will be no longer. The freshly splintered wood perfumes the air with creosote and cypress sap. Then the wind turns, and the pungent diesel fumes fill my nose and sting my eyes.
Where: Ro2 Art | The Cedars
1501 S. Ervay St. Dallas, TX 75215
When: March 13 – April 10, 2021