Georgia State Lecture Position
My work strives to understand the feminine unconsciousness and the effects of trauma on the female psyche. My images use the camera as a tool to explore trauma, to examine my own past trauma and establish them in conversation to universal trauma- a thought into the collective unconscious and string theory. Through returning to the archetype of the Wild Woman, I use contemporary myth-making to better understand my life through the lens of the past. Turning to fairy tales, folklore, dream symbology, and intercultural myth, I use my work as a stepping stone to dimensions where nature has taken over and a dystopic feminine order has taken place in an attempt to help restore women's intuitive and instinctive abilities. Visionary attributes of instinctual nature glean through the work- a knowing of souls. I make work that subverts ego to better understand my relationship to my collective community. I create my photography, installation, and performance to better understand womanhood in the context of the past, present, and future.
My goal as an instructor of photography—and to a greater extent, of unbridled creativity—goes beyond teaching students to merely produce works of art. I strongly believe in the power of art to create community and value each member’s insights. That vision undergirds my work in the classroom.
Specifically I want to teach artistic learners to master a clear visual understanding of their works and give them the history and tools to articulate their process of making art. The creation of new work is not made in a void but rather in the context of art history, and the most successful artists develop an ability to express the physical act of making art through writing and words. In my own creative process, I have come to appreciate how the theory, philosophy, and psychology of great artists of the past inform works made today. Learning to be comfortable in being uncomfortable, to express vulnerability and authenticity, and to respect the vast knowledge of art history: these strategies provide a framework for my students to explore their own potential as artists. When students observe their own personal growth over the course of a semester using these tools, they grow in confidence and empowerment as artists.
To impart the most learning, I continually practice and revist pedagogical strategies that demonstrate how knowledge and discourse are inextricably woven throughout the creative process.
TO DO THIS, I TEACH STUDENTS TO:
Look: how to see their art and critique the work
Write: how to describe their work with clear prose
Understand: how to apply an historical lens to appreciate the art they’ve made
These strategies inform my approach to teaching. I believe that the best teaching comes from seeing through the perspectives of my students. I am there not only to stimulate learning and inspire creativity but also to listen, learn, and collaborate. In the classroom, I promote a nurturing atmosphere for critical listening and intellectual exploration, fully embracing the idea that we learn from each other. I particularly value the diverse insights and experiences of teacher and students as we create an environment where teaching and learning go both ways.
Rather than a pejorative or patriarchal system, my classrooms emphasize community. I encourage students to be active participants who take responsibility and accountability for their learning. During my own experience in graduate school, I cultivated a sense of “owning” my education through the exchange of knowledge when my mentor, Linda Connor, invited me to lecture with the Photo Alliance in San Francisco. That experience taught me to concisely express the meaning of my work in the context of all that I had learned. It changed my art practice for the better. I would hope to do the same for my students, empowering them to embrace their unbridled creativity through seeing, writing, and understanding.