I come from a world of ponytail-facelifts, wedgies, and glitter hairspray where chalk is the remedy for callouses ripped open, and athletic tape holds most of the team together. Gymnastics is synonymous with who I am. It’s how I stand out; it’s how I am remembered; it’s my identity. However, I am not able to continue with the sport that is my home; my aging body won’t allow it. So how do I re-home this athleticism? My artwork poses this question and distills the body motions that I hold so dear. It expands upon the start and stop of movements which I have done so repetitively for all of my life, and therefore it documents them. The work also examines the ritualistic nature of sport and the necessary endurance that is called upon when executing a passion through motion.
I am a firm believer in leading by example. It is the most potent form of leadership. I employ this tactic in my work by tracking my body when performing on an apparatus and producing a trace of my movement. Viewers can get close to the movement and imagine themselves or a body doing them. I want the work to be approached in this way; for the audience to see the marks made by my body and imagine themselves doing the same. I aim to share my love of controlled flight with people whose feet have never been over their heads. Visualizing is a tool used in athletics to allow the athlete to imagine themselves doing a move correctly. It is a crucial process because there is no gravity or time in our minds. We can reverse, slow down, and have the perfect body position in our head, and then apply this mind work to the skill in real time.
I am aware that many people access sport through a screen, therefore their sense of scale is distorted. The athlete may be fifteen feet in the air but on screen she is only a couple of inches above her apparatus. Actual scale is of the utmost importance to my work. To see the visual residue left behind by my body allows one to imagine the body there at one point in time. Documenting flight in this way allows viewers to understand what is happening and enables them to place themselves in my position.