Terra Incognita began as a challenge to extend the conventional view of landscape art via a three-dimensional installation. The work consists of 3 basic components: (1) a base of upholstery foam into which is carved a sort of topographical “map” showing canyons and mesas; (2) handmade paper, affixed to the top of the plateaus, that are made from junk mail; (3) kirigami flowers and butterflies, some lying on top of the base and others suspended from the ceiling and walls. The kirigami is made from junk mail and discarded proofs from a musical score.
The source of inspiration is San Diego’s Balboa Park, though I consider it to be a point of departure and muse, thus the work itself is not intended as a direct representation. In a broad sense, the work is an attempt to create a post-historic image of a natural landscape, where human interference is seen in its residue: roads appear but go nowhere, letters can be seen in the hand-made paper but the sources have been destroyed, and then there is the source material for the kirigami, which includes items such as advertisements for weight loss surgery and political campaign mailers. I intend this to be a fertile metaphorical territory for the viewer to mine. In my own thinking the recontextualization of junk, trash, or unwanted material into intricate and delicate forms that represent objects in nature (i.e. butterflies) addresses a desire for ecological balance.