Portfolio > ABACUS

Wood, cast crayons, dried flower, stainless steel pipe, plastic squeeze bottle caps, steel cord.
43 x 36 x 36 inches, approximately


This sculpture marks the beginning of a new body of work. Collection is always at the root of my practice and is the place where I begin. Here, I have collected every cap I could from every squeezy pouch I’ve tried to feed my (now 6-year-old) son. Feeding has been a challenge for him, requiring both surgery and therapy. Not being able to successfully feed your child is an extraordinary experience: much of this food was wasted, either vomited up or thrown away. Abacus represents our determination to figure out this life together and contends with my fury and shame at consuming both single-use plastics and processed baby food. To hold these lengths of plastic caps, I’ve cast my hand in the ASL sign for “I love you” with crayons. The cast crayons are fragile and have been repaired, and now slightly resemble that of an automaton, which is apt. I am interested in transforming my experience parenting a handicapped child (who has no interest in artmaking, cannot communicate, and has difficulty feeding) into objects of beauty, color, and joy. That joy is the essence of how I feel about him.