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Tension Series

Within this series, I utilized a woodworking technique called kerf bending to explore concepts of tension, precarity, and the search for stability through form. Kerf bending consists of making symmetrical and evenly spaced cuts that go almost, but not completely through the wood, leaving a thin veneer of wood in place that holds the pieces together but allows the wood to bend. Traditionally kerf cut wood is fixed in place using wood glue, however, to allow my pieces to have kinetic potential and to highlight the sources of tension with each piece, I chose to fix the pieces using cotton string, fishing line, and metal cables.

Since wood and architectural design are traditionally associated with stability, I wanted to continue a pattern in my works of using mediums in non-normative and unexpected ways. Oftentimes when using wood, especially within architectural design, we expect it to take on angular forms, thus by creating curved and flexible forms out of wood I attempted to subvert the viewer's preconceived notions of wood and architectural form. I intended to use this subversion to raise questions about the precarious nature of our relationship with architecture amid the housing crisis. As someone who has experienced queer youth homelessness, my relationship with housing, shelter, and by extension architecture, is a complicated one. Creating these pieces was a means of documenting my relationship with housing precarity, but it was also part of a healing process as I work to process my past and end cycles of material insecurity through mutual aid.

Although this series was inspired by architectural design, this series was fueled by my struggle with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). One of the symptoms of my OCD is an obsessive fixation on repetition. The process of making these pieces consisted of hours spent in the wood shop making evenly spaced cuts in the wood, and while most would consider this process tedious, on a physiological level it satisfied my compulsive need to engage in repetitive behavior. As such, the process of creating these pieces themselves was an avenue for me to explore my relationship with repetition within my work and find a sense of agency and control over my disability.

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