My strict Catholic upbringing and my background in art history define my work. My work is about my own experiences with the Catholic religion so I often put myself in my paintings either as an adult or child and include a personal iconography of objects. I am interested in the glorification of pain and suffering as a vehicle to reach the glory of God. When I was a child I remember being in church and looking at the beautifully rendered images of violent scenes, such as the Crucifixion, and being horrified by the portrayal of torture. I was terrified by the stories of the bible and the content of the imagery but fascinated by the beautiful colors, stained glass windows, sculptures and flickering light of the candles against all of this.
My work is asking questions such as, why there is such an emphasis on physical suffering in the Catholic religion? And, what affect this has on children brought up around these images and teachings? Children are exposed to violent imagery and stories in their religious studies yet shielded from violent images and stories in entertainment and the media. Why are sacred depictions of violent acceptable and secular ones not? What does this say about us as a society? Creating works that focus on these questions is a cathartic way for me to work though my issues with the Catholic church.