The universe we inhabit, while filled with wonder seem to us oftentimes, too ordinary and in our contempt for the things we all share in common, we miss the quiet susurration of our daily lives, saying, “Here is Beauty. Here is Beauty.”
Using the physical reminders picked up from my daily walks with my dog, Barney - leaves picked up along the way, fallen bark from trees, detritus from vacuuming, Barney’s fur, coffee grounds, weeds removed from the garden and leaves from the Italian plum tree I pruned last summer – I incorporated them into handmade paper along with my old prints.
The handmade paper was then made into the flags, which gave this project its name, “Suburuban Signals”. Flags have been used to identify opposing armies in a battlefield. But for my purposes, the flag signals that, ‘Here is a community of like minded people!’. These suburban signal flags are poetic expressions of my neighborhood. A white flag also has its origins in the battlefield, where the losing side surrenders by raising a white flag. But rather than surrender hope, the white flag here represents a surrender to your environment by accepting all that is around you and paying close attention with all of your senses. However, this work is not complete without your participation. By picking up the white flag, you express your acceptance of the present moment and submit oneself without resistance.
“Suburban Signals” invites you to appreciate the obvious, the mundane, the ordinary and the common, your neighborhood, and the place where you live, asking all of us to slow down and be grateful for the universe we inhabit, to treasure the ordinary extraordinary world we inhabit before it is too late.
As part of "Suburban Signals, a set of pennants titled 'Stake Your Claim' were made for the faculty exhibition at Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2015. These pennants bore phrases like ‘Here is Beauty’, ‘Daily Rituals’ , ‘Universe in common’ which were also used in the Suburban Signals show at c3 Initiatve & in part through the Pulp & Deckle papermaking residency in St. John, OR. Gallery visitors were instructed to take a pennant and carry it around with them and then place it somewhere they deemed worth of contemplation. I did lose a few this way but I expect the home they are now in, is exactly where they belong. I got the stump from a bay laurel that we cut down in our backyard. The bay laurel has since grown back and is currently a very large bush.