Protected

When my daughter Dana was young, I often took her and her friends to the museum of natural history, in McBride Hall at the University of Iowa, to draw. While they drew I wandered around studying the dioramas, while listening to the conversations of my preteen daughter and her friends. I imagined what the animals were like alive in their natural environment while I listened to observations of the world through the eyes of these young girls. As I listened to their fears, theories, and laughter, I started thinking about the fine line between protecting something and smothering it. I think our species tends to make these decisions based on our own irrational fears that we rationalize into needs. This often leads to disaster. I had recently become a single custodial parent so this was an anxiety that I dealt with on a daily basis. This body of work represents that inner-dialogue that occurred when I was dealing with the balance between protecting and smothering.   

 

Significant because my subject matter was at one time a living thing. Now they are frozen in a pose that allows it to become a transient unrecorded still-life to many. Meanings metaphorical or otherwise are based purely on the perceptions at the time of viewing. By recording them with a camera and removing them digitally from the man-made surroundings, I applied the metaphorical connection that I wanted to convey, based on the resonance between the diorama and the new environment.