You cannot save the land apart from the people or the people apart from the land. To save either, you must save both-that is a lesson taught nowhere better than in the economic history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.- Wendell Berry
I placed this quote on my studio wall before I started creating my new body of work. Being a Kentuckian is central to my identity as an artist and activist. Both sides of my family have immigrant roots to eastern Kentucky that span over 100 years. From that lineage I inherited my Appalachian values, including profound connections to the land, the people and the struggle for the survival of both. I use both my art and my activism to articulate these values, bring light to the urgency of the continuing collapse of this region, and to make sense of my own grief and rage.
My work is a personal act of resistance; it is how I survive within this society that is built on the disposability of people and land. As a result, the major themes of my work are extraction, sacrifice zones, solastalgia, and state/corporate violence.