My childhood home on Bloomfield Street no longer exists. Although it was just an ordinary building with a backyard garden in Hoboken, New Jersey, it was a sanctuary to me, a place of magic and imagination. With my childhood haven literally razed and replaced, I find myself returning there in my mind, and in my work, searching for what has been lost in adulthood. Underneath the layers of time lies a deep desire for the refuge and freedom of imagination that I thought I would always have. By excavating remembered stories, dreams, found objects and family photographs, I demonstrate my fascination with this yearning.
The Perennial Garden begins with prints of my house and garden as seen on Google Maps, collaged family photos with ruptured surfaces, surreal sculptures made with bricks and other detritus, photographs with flaking emulsion, and self-portraits in my present-day living room. The series chronicles my process of gazing back at the past, cloaked in its golden glow, obsessing over preservation, questioning the photograph’s role as a crutch for memory, and finally embracing the medium as a way back to imagination, as the process of making art is my present-day sanctuary.
In its book format, The Perennial Garden connects the past and present tense through cutouts between pages, creating an interactive experience for the viewer.