Biography and Artist's Statement

Since I was a child I have been visual and observant, patiently scrutinizing animals, the landscape and people. My favorite way of expressing what I see and feel has long been with art materials and images. In elementary school I would sit and draw horses that galloped around the edges of my notebooks. My parents supported my interest in art and provided me with good materials and lessons.

During World War II, my father ran a factory that made parts for airplanes. The seriousness of the war was part of my family's daily life. Everyone was aware of the loss of life and devastation caused by the war. Large sections of many European cities were destroyed. I was surprised to see the chaotic rubble of buildings that had not yet been rebuilt in Naples when I travelled there in 1960. I thought then and continue to think about all the civilians who do not fight but whose lives are irrevocably changed by war. So many are forced to flee the violence of their homelands.

For several years I have been collecting the stories of refugees and making installations based on displacement, loss, transition and finally hope. In recent years waves of immigrants have come to the United States beginning with the Vietnamese and Cubans and then continuing with the Bosnians, people from Sudan, Somalia and Burma. The installations are large, and work to convey a sense of movement. The written stories of these new immigrants are placed in folders near the work where they can be read.

Recently I have also been making ink and pencil drawings. These often incorporate pieces of paper with fragments of the stories written on them. The stories are concise, often just a paragraph or two, and remind me of the stories told by the farmers in Madison County, NY, where I live. The drawings string black silhouetted images, stories and fragments of foliage and buildings across the picture plane. The images are flattened and simplified and have been influenced by Greek amphora, the cut outs of Matisse and Kara Walker.