Emerging from the experience of healing my orthopedic injury, I have begun to explore sculpture informed by medicine and surgery. Dealing with my own mobility issues led me to research the history of prosthetics, bringing me to the American Civil War. During an unplanned visit to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland, I encountered a number of photographs of Civil War veteran amputees. Amputation and its repair have become quintessential images of Civil War trauma. As a recent Baltimore transplant, I experienced the Uprising following the death of Freddie Gray, one of the occurrences fueling the current dialogues in the United States identifying racial equality. This historical moment directly reveals wounds left unresolved following the American Civil War. This past spring confronted me with the now historically compounded and unhealed racial wounds in American culture.
My current work explores cultural, political, and racial wounds through the lens of injured bodies. Being informed by images and artifacts of the conflict, my work is currently exploring trauma and our attempt to restore the architecture of the body. Prosthetics’ effort to restore functionality to the damaged body creates a stirring emotional portrait of the damage the war caused and failed to resolve. Historical prosthetics in this American regional and contemporary context function as icons of the difficulty to reunite and heal the American corpus.