The Menengiyn Tal, Eastern Mongolia
Research as an Artist
My work revolves around the question: “How does one describe in visual artistic form the personal, human encounter of vast open landscape?” *
I grew up in a small Nebraska town and for seven years I worked as a truck driver hauling cattle throughout the Great Plains. While my personal and family history is tied to the plains, my work is not based in nostalgia – it originates from a deep physical, mental, and emotional need to move in and through open land. For me, a walk through a field of grass results in a journey through both space and time. Drawing and personal experience in the physical landscape form the core of my artistic process.
Calling on ecological philosopher Joanna Macy’s “Wild love for the world”, my desire is to make art that reveals beauty and ventures out into physical places upon the land. My work is interdisciplinary in both form and content. With drawing as the foundation, I combine drawing, moving image, and installation to depict the Northern Great Plains landscape. I draw inspiration from rural working class experience, anthropology that studies place and language, contemporary American Indigenous and Political studies centering around land use, and environmental activism. And in the end, I make large drawings and moving images that within our frenetic paced video and image culture create spaces of quiet, deep stillness.