"cactus, flower, f%#k-off, love, roses - #26", graphite, colored pencil, and water color on paper, 2014

The drawing series is an ongoing endeavor. The images evoke my struggle to understand the essence of womanhood, both as a female and a parent. As two daughters enter puberty, one for the second time, I question what it mean to be female, beyond the biological. How will my transgender daughter ever make up for the socialization she has missed? The subtle innuendoes that condition speech patterns, facial reactions, and hand movements, may determine her ability to “pass”, even more than the hormones she's taking to transform her appearance. How can she possibly catch-up, or should she? I worry about my 13 year old, what will she leave behind, or embrace, as she forgoes her childhood and becomes a young woman? What societal pressures will she succumb to? Can she hold on to her identity, cultivate her aspirations, or is she predestined to be a construct of her environs? These are questions I pondered daily.

The drawing series is installed along with the video "Me Not", which documents a woman attempting to remove the needles of a cactus. The piece references the childhood ritual of plucking flower petals while reciting “he loves me, he loves me not”, but “Me Not” is not playful. The video references gender non-conformity, violence against women (cis and trans), and resistance to cultural constructs of womanhood.

To view the video check out Me Not

"cactus, flower, f%#K-off, love, roses" exhibited at the San Diego Art Institute, Central Michigan University, The Rymer Gallery (solo exhibition) Nashville, TN, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, TX, 29th Annual Northern National, Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI, and coming in Oct 2017 solo exhibition at The Center on Halsted, Chicago, IL