I am delighted by the surprising histories of familiar activities. For ten years, I have been creating cut paper lightboxes that explore the curious evolutions of quotidian cultural phenomena. From my research, I select a few moments to illustrate, based on their potential to be visually compelling and often surprising. Reminiscent of codices or medieval visual storytelling, the narrative compositions travel through time and space in a single image.
For Labor and Leisure, I have selected and created pieces that feature chapters of work and recreation. In some of these artworks, the scenes illustrate activities that began as work and evolved into leisure, such as “A Brief History of Diving”. Often, the difference between labor and leisure is one of context. In these vignettes, the use of silhouettes allows viewers to interpret whether the characters are at work or at play.
In other pieces, work and leisure are presented in the context of production and consumption of lavish goods. For instance, in “A Refined Display” wealthy Elizabethans marvel at a sugar sculpture while a plantation scene looms above their heads.
As some toil endlessly to provide a surplus of leisure for others, the lucky work at their hobbies and enjoy their work. The artworks themselves are examples of the latter, requiring hours of satisfying research, drawing, cutting, construction, and wiring.
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