Chain link fence, natural dye materials acquired from Chicago empty lots, and cotton fabric.
To make these sculptures I have taken materials from vacant lots to guide my work engaging with the land and community. As a starting point in the works, I use the structure of a chain-link fence that surrounds empty lots in Chicago. In “Site and Source” I used the fence from a lot that is connected to my apartment and formed bricks pushing clay through the wire, then used the bricks to rebuild a new barricade.
Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs promotes empty lots as a challenge to the community. She believes that laying claim and taking over these spaces without permission can produce massive cultural change. Boggs sees vacant lots and abandoned houses as opportunities to provide not only the space to begin anew, but also as incentives to create innovative ways of making our living—ways that nurture our productive and cooperative selves. The sculptures that I have made for this exhibition largely consider these dynamics.