free & content

free & content
VCUarts MFA Thesis Exhibition 
The Depot Gallery, Richmond, VA 

click here to read the free & content zine 

The arrangements of objects in free & content articulate a collection of overlapping thoughts. These introspections had been captured in one configuration as a series of poems. A sequence of simple words and phrases convey complex thoughts that had shifted together in my mind, floating and fighting for reconciliation. I wrote these poems six years ago in reflection on events that had occurred two years prior. As I read over them, with no one to assert their original context, I find that many of these words could just as easily be superimposed onto more recent people and events in my life.

The power of poetry resides in the vague multiplicity of the word “you.” The nature of a garment such as the denim jacket is almost like the nature of the word “you” in a good poem – so many people can put it on, but only certain people do. At its most nebulous, “you” can stand for “I,” “He,” “She,” “Them,” “They” and “Other” all at the same time, and the space that facilitates this multiplicity is the space of poetics. The content of the poetry is deeply personal and a description of an impression of a specific time and place. Because of this, it is a description that is open to the universal nature of emotions.

As your eyes scan the space, they detect different moments, with a different feeling to each.  Whimsy is apparent, followed by the somber and the lonely, followed again by celebration. Through the transition from experience to words, and then words to images – a sort of personal alchemy - I am able to redeem, and maybe even embrace, some of my most difficult memories. Each object is human, but holds a mystery to unpack and decipher. Ultimately, full meaning will never be known, just as you may never fully know the meaning behind someone else’s facial expression, or their words, just before they leave the room.


Thank you Terry Brown and David Hunter Hale for photography.