I made my way to Wyoming to spend a month at the Ucross Foundation with the intention to develop work that replicated my experience of place. Disentangling the myriad interwoven aspects of billions of forces, beings, sensations and thoughts and then replicating them anew was the project at hand. How I would do that was unknown, and for that reason the time carved out by the artist in residence opportunity was of such great value.
As luck would have it, serendipity colluded with the seasons to provide my first up close experience of cattails. In a little dip in the land (undoubtedly marshy in spring) between the rock studios and foundation offices grew some gnarly old cottonwoods and a profusion of cattails. I took a few of the cattails into my studio. As the days passed, their brown fuzzy tops faded. One day, stroking the , by then, ash colored puffier top the whole thing burst. Erupted. Uncoiled. I jumped. The thing was alive! I was shocked and delighted. But even more than that, because the innate properties of the cattails began to symbolize many things for me. I began to wonder whether the way the cattail lost its physical integrity was a viable metaphor for other lives and deaths. Whatever had held it together and made it a cattail dispersed. The little fluff that remained ( even after much sweeping and vacuuming) in the studio seemed to me the cattail soul. While still at Ucross I found a way to begin what grew into the Grazeland series. With its many layered, multi-focused, in and out, painted, screwed, glued and assembled aspects, this work resembles the way things appear, grab my attention, and then fade from consciousness as other aspects in my environment take their place.