The Garden of Not-So-Evil was inspired by multiple interactions experienced over a short period of time. On an especially grievous day, mulling over the state of social discourse, I found myself repeating passages from a Garrison Keillor essay: “… nevertheless life goes on … what matters are tomatoes …” He’d had a great crop, mine was flourishing, too. Earlier I’d overheard tidbits of a conversation while shopping: “Kate McKinnon? No, she’s not gay. She doesn’t look gay.” Later, checking Facebook, I perused selfies of transgender women I’d collaborated with on the project “Flower Women,” taken in front of women’s bathrooms at the North Carolina State Capital building. Confident and cheeky, no one would suspect they were breaking the 'bathroom law'. A couple days later, I read an article in the New York times about a 10th Century Viking Warrior. Presumed to be a man, the warrior was actually a woman. DNA tests determined the body belonged to a double X chrommosome humanoid. The 1880's discovery, with swords, arrowheads, two sacrificial horses, and other warrior regalia in the tomb, suggested male. Unquestioned for nearly 130 years, male-centric constructs implied Y.
Garden of the Not So Evil explores nature's indifference to our norms and perceptions of gender, the folly of our debate, and the level of current angst. The paintings are flush with unisex creatures and/or animals that can change their sex. Alluring, and to some creepy, they are survivors, prevailing 80 – 130 million years depending on the species. In the paintings, they abide within fabricated worlds created by deploying paint, collage, and digital manipulation.
More images to come.