The ‘Pelt’ sculptures reference a jarring truth that struck when I first became a parent. My infant had basic needs and desires that elicited in me physical and emotional responses of astounding intensity. The drive to care for, feed, and protect my young felt deeply personal and yet common throughout the animal kingdom. The messy, uncontrollable, and immensely satisfying elements of being a mother brought home to me that for all my education, tool use, and language, I am essentially a mammal.
One physical hallmark of being a mammal is possessing hair—something humans routinely try to shape, deny, remove, and contain that persists nonetheless. In this work I combine found clothing items that carry their own layers of meaning with hair that intrudes on and reshapes them as a reassertion of the closeted mammal inside. Acknowledging our mammalian roots places humankind back among - not above - other animals.