My ongoing series “Dressed” explores themes of isolation while also playing with pattern and composition.
Clothing is typically seen as a means of personal expression, but it is also a form of disguise that hides what lies within. As individuals, we can retreat into our garments, revealing only what we wish. In public and work environments, it often serves as camouflage, allowing us to match our surroundings. Even the most vibrant fabric can be simultaneously eye-catching and concealing — a distraction to shield ourselves from others, keeping our innermost selves private while showing a public façade.
Some of the pieces in this series mirror fabric patterns in the background, referencing a camouflage theme, while others portray the figure in open space to emphasize our distance from others. Both highlight human isolation in alternate ways.
I started the Dressed series before COVID-19 caused massive shutdown across the country. Themes of aloneness and self-protection were, at that time, conceptual versus literal. Once we began the dance of shelter-in-place and social distancing, the work adopted another level of relevance to the innate distance we humans can feel in our separate existential shells.
Even as we return to “normal,” our ability to connect with others has changed. Many are desperate for human interaction, craving social activity to fill the void of missed experience. Yet for some, the sense of isolation is greater, making contact distressing and behavior uncertain. Having spent so much time alone with ourselves, are we any more comfortable with who we are? Or are we even further apart?
I was born in Berkeley, CA and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY. My college years were spent in New York City and Boston, where I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in painting.
I currently live in Oakland, CA with my husband John Casey.