Through recontextualizing land from its origins in a gallery space, I examine how removal creates alienation and estrangement. The displacement of natural materials generates an absence. Each physical presence has a spatial negative that exists outside of the gallery; an inverted twin that surrounding environments gradually reclaim. Carefully shaping collected materials into perfect circles is a compassionate, meditative gesture that attempts to create wholes from fragments and assert belonging through intentional placement.
Within the act of collecting natural materials, there is an embedded relationship between violence and care. Digging weaponizes a shovel’s blade as it uproots microscopic ecosystems; bugs, plants, and worms are common casualties. However, gathering natural materials can also be protective. Moving petals, dirt, and leaves to controlled indoor spaces is a kind of conservation effort, delaying inevitable decomposition. The difference between violence and care is not always formally discernable. Oftentimes, the two have overlapping imprints.