A favorite quote of mine that has been a guiding principle during my professional/creaitve life comes from – Louis Pasteur, the 19th century French Biologist:
“ (In the field of observation) Chance favors only the prepared mind.”
The creation of Emptied Nests is a product of that notion. More purely and directly than anything I have ever done as an artist, this piece hones in on and activates my personal history. This was a surprise. It was not part of my plan as I worked over the last year on an invitation to participate in exhibition that was based on the collections of the Carl Richter and the Museum of Natural History at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. But it certainly kept percolating to the surface.
In the resulting installation, and in further work that was spawned by it, my delights and discoveries from Carl Richter’s collection co-mingle with my own life’s collection of people, places, and objects I have loved and carried with me. The title “Emptied Nests” is, of course, loaded. It speaks to the evacuation of eggs that occurred through the act of collecting, it hints at the fervor of that pursuit and its consequences to the health of our ecosystem and depletion of species. It also speaks to many aspects of my life. In the last two years I have relocated back to Wisconsin after living elsewhere for 37 years. This piece is also about the objects I have collected and carried with me. Some of them are the remnants of people I have loved and lost. So this piece, too, is about love and loss… and the fragility of life.