This collage is part of a series initially started with the intention to mark the passage of time spent in Atlanta, a city new to me, since the death of my best friend Sarah Noll. All the materials used in this collage were items from my daily life: unfinished cups of tea, packaging from a box of pies my neighbor mailed me, cut outs from a stack of old magazines another neighbor left out in the rain, etc. The painting was a very slow process of pouring, tilting, waiting, and beginning the process again to layer over the span of a year. Eventually I began to build the Atlanta city skyline, and in the process Ria Pell, a friend and pronounced leader in the Atlanta queer and business community, died. This is a collage that is made of my life story in Atlanta over the last year.
In further regard to the process, I challenged myself to use what I had available to me, giving sentimental meaning to what I typically would have treated as trash. Using materials in my home and life that would normally be thrown out allowed me to be more conscious of my daily interactions with waste. I began to see value in what would normally be discarded, reflecting on the culture of the United States which produces an abundance of trash and builds other monuments of our lives and time with dumps and mounds. It is an outdated early American attitude to continue to believe this is still a new world of perpetual new things, that things can indefinitely be disposed of or used to extinction without acknowledgment of decay, that prosperity will rise from mannerisms of unconsidered waste, and that ancestors and those who have died around us, before us, and among us will not be acknowledge as part of our foundation.