Mixed media (wood, light box, custom ceramic tiles with crushed crystal, castors, two-way and one-way mirrors).


On the mezzanine level, a single work replicates a wooden kitchen island. For this piece, I was inspired by the traditions of Iznik tiles made in Turkey, where I spent 6 weeks during a residency at Gate 27 Istanbul in 2021. Iznik tiles are depicted with beautifully hand-painted floral and symbolic motifs. They decorate the grand mosques and imperial buildings that one sees in Istanbul. What distinguishes Iznik tiles from others is the quartz content. Quartz is an abundant mineral that is also silica, and also a crystal. Whereas common tiles contain 10-15% quartz, Iznik tiles contain 80-85%. It occurred to me that quartz – in new age crystal terms – is also used to balance energies, bringing harmony and revitalizing the chakras. It only made sense that these tiles formed the foundations inside spiritual buildings. Yet this is never spoken of or written about.

For this show, I worked with a local tile company to produce a single tile pattern that I designed. I imported a number of crystals that were crushed into powder form, then I mixedthese into the pigment of the glaze used to paint the tiles. The positive energy of crystals like Malachite, Carnelian, Moonstone, and Tiger’s Eye were fired and embedded in the essence of the tiles themselves. Inside the cabinet, the single pattern replicates itself over and over, creating a harmonic domestic space that evokes something more monumental. Whereas monuments are often seen as big in scale, and grandiose, like obelisks, arches, and the Vietnam War Memorial, Island, as it is titled, is meant to be a “modest monument”, that is also movable upon its castors.

The crystals are intended to energize and evoke a potential energy, paying homage to a more feminine space – the kitchen – that is normally an afterthought in the pantheon of patriarchy. It’s the space we eat in, where our mothers cook for their children, where sustenance is the objective.

Here, in this kitchen, on an island, a single pattern that is modular transforms into the monumental.

Description from Songs of Singularity Exhibition Catalog, 2023, p.39.