He was a tinkerer, looking to solve life’s little challenges at his workbench. He loved to work with scrap-wood, rebar, pipes, odds-and-ends. My family lovingly refer to them as contraptions.
EC’s Contraptions, are a collection of idiosyncratic, utilitarian household inventions. Each item has a unique function: tools for digging, a rack for grilling, a wagon for carting, or perhaps a show of humor.
After my grandfather passed away, I collected many of these handmade objects and photographed them. I love the materials and the way the objects are assembled–these choices remind me of my grandfather’s character.
Inspired by their forms and materials, I created a series of large-scale ink-jet prints. Some of these items also appear in a documentary project currently in process, called Made in Mattoon. Through this work I engage with the expanded field of documentary, examining the myths and truths surrounding the lives of my paternal grandparents, Madge and EC of Mattoon, IL.
Focusing on what is left behind, indexing objects and stories through my camera’s lens, I am able to interpret and retell the tales, while taking ownership of my family’s history and heritage.
Installation views from post-grad exhibition, Re:Connections, Tin Flats, Los Angeles, CA. Aug, 2021.
Installation views, Re:Connections, Tin Flats, Los Angeles, CA. Aug, 2021.