My series, Nature-ReCollected, is an investigation of a collection of several thousand stones, shells and other natural objects which were gathered decades ago by Italia Grande and her husband Albert Mainland. They lived in a small apartment in Greenwich Village, but every summer they would set out to exotic places throughout North America, obsessively collecting bits of nature and living in its essence. Through a serendipitous event I was given the collection, saving it from the fate of being discarded. For months, I separated and sorted these objects. This became a meditative process which was essential for me, becoming intimate with them and experiencing their nuances.
Eventually, I began to create labor-intensive structures which incorporated the objects. For example, I made stone-like sculptures called Sounding Stones that are simulacra of the actual stones. The Sounding Stones have hidden compartments that hold “dream panels” which become a vehicle for the stones’ voices. These small panels are collaged paintings which combine photographs from Italia and Albert’s travels as well as images from my own life. They tell the story of real and psychic travels and through them, the dreams of the stones, Italia and Albert’s dreams and my dreams converge.