School: Kent State University
Perfume inspiration: Skin Graft
Name of Work: “Skin Graft”
Medium of work: Tapestry
When and why did you decide to become an artist?
I remember the exact moment when I realized that I wanted to be an artist, or at least devote a good portion of my life to “making”. I was in my favorite artisan shop in Toledo, Ohio called The Happy Badger wearing a pair of colorful bell bottom jeans I had sewn and painted the previous day. The owner approached me and exclaimed that my pants were magnificent and asked where I had gotten them. Explaining to her that I had made them was when I truly realized how important being a maker was to me. Her feedback and encouragement that day and for years later solidified my passion for the arts.
Why did you choose that particular fragrance?
I was initially drawn to the Phoenicia perfumes because of the unique names and attractively simple bottles. After sampling all of them I immediately connected with the top notes of skin graft. I consider perfume an art medium, and like any other work of art perfume can trigger strong emotions. The difference with perfume to visual art is that when you experience a perfume your body is physically consuming particles rather than just computing an image in your mind. Skin Graft is an emotional journey from the moment it is first sprayed until far after it settles on the body. It has familiar notes that I am fond of such as jasmine, cedar and honey, but it is the unfamiliar aromas that are so intriguing.
Who is your favorite artist?
I am influenced by many artists and I don’t think that I could necessarily pick a “favorite”. There are many artists, male and female, from many different mediums that I refer to regularly for inspiration. Mike Kelley is an American artist that passed away in 2012 and worked with found objects, textiles, and video installation among many other things. His work is provocative and eerie but also humorous to those who appreciate the content. Erin Riley is an American artist who works exclusively in tapestry weaving. Her graphic anonymous imagery of the modern cell phone “selfie” is strikingly beautiful and similarly unnerving. Rosemarie Trockel is another artist who does not necessarily have a signature style or medium. She works with notions of femininity, fine art vs fine craft, amateur vs professional art, and human impact on the natural world. Her work is well researched and well documented which is an important practice.