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Each piece from the Second Life series includes an unfinished antique textile piece made in the 20th century by anonymous women. Considered hobby projects, these artifacts were each abandoned at various stages of completion. I documented each of them before beginning, researched their technique and place in history, and then transformed them into completed sculptures using elements of glass, textiles and mixed media. I began this series in 2009, 1 year before my son was born. Becoming a new parent and having a lack of time and funds ended up turning it into a much longer-term project than I anticipated. Because the project took many years to come to fruition, and in those years, I evolved and changed as a person, so did the work. The parameters of this project were relatively confining to begin with: The objects’ incompleteness was my road in. I started where my “collaborator” left off. I extracted the love, frustration, boredom, eccentricities, or whatever traces of this unknown person’s humanity that I could divine from the piece and I let these characteristics take the lead. This meant that I ended up being cautious/precious about the artifact, always wanting to respect the phantom people I was collaborating with. The earlier pieces tended to put aside parts of myself for the work to honour the original authors whose work I was bringing out of obscurity. However, over the course of the 11 years that it took to build this series, I noticed that my own story and politics kept pushing themselves into the narrative. I realised that working with these artifacts was not just about other people’s stories, but also about mine, which most often stood in stark contrast to theirs. Conveying my complexity as an ever evolving middle aged, white, non-binary, queer artist and caregiver living in 21st century became important and took up more space in the work. My parameters have therefore changed: their incompleteness is still my road in, they still include the celebration the “mundane” and address the history of women's work and their lack of place in the art world. They still cross the boundaries that continue to persist between art and craft, the young and elderly, technology and handmade, and between traditional techniques and conceptual art practices but they also engender more personal ideas to do with my own biography - parenthood, gender expression, sexualities, climate change, family history, colonialism and more. It was this re-orientation that gave longevity to the series I present to you, and that I call my Second Life.

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