As a little girl, I spent most of my time drawing buses. I also drew elaborate floor plans for cities that I would have liked to live in. I grew up in a town of 300 people, and even that seemed like an exaggeration to me. I spent a lot of time by myself, crinkling my Barbies hair with a curling iron and a toothpick and getting ‘to-scale’ dimensions for shopping mall parking lots in my imaginary city.
I didn’t like to go outside.
I think that I am still the same today, although it’s something one can’t admit openly without judgement. Preferring to stay indoors has a connotation to being trivial and shallow; the enjoyment of nature is a sensual and thoughtful gift. I don’t like camping. I feel like I camped for 18 years. Our house was in the middle of nowhere and I have been chased by a moose. This doesn’t excuse me, it just adds perspective.
I love to watch. I love to watch closely. I listen to peoples conversations, I observe movement, I question motives and backgrounds. I think that I was drawn to express that need through ‘playing’ other people. Lately I wonder if that expression needs anything other than watching. And relaying what I see.
When I was in University, I became interested in the work of Cindy Sherman. At the time, I thought it was because I liked to play dress-up. Because I admired her exposure of those characters. Now I think I recognize that I have always enjoyed being on the inside looking out, and that I am moved by her view from the outside looking in.
When I drew buses, each day and every day for a long time, there was always a young fella with a sideways baseball cap on. I don’t exactly know why. It’s just what I saw.
Untitled Film Still #21 (1978), Cindy Sherman