Photo Credit: Katie Charlotte
EDUCATION & BIO
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Q&A with Tina
Why do you do what you do?
I make art to calm my mind and commune with nature.
What are you currently reading?
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (I am considering making a bunker now), Wonder by RJ Palacio (will break and then heal your heart) Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama (fascinating stories about her life and artist friends)
What cracks you up?
Anything with Will Farrell and Tina Fey. If they are both in a movie it is a must-see and probably must-own. Anything Monty Python. One of my most proud moments as a parent is showing my kids Monty Python’s Holy Grail and they cracked up. I can quote almost every line from the movie Tommy Boy. So basically anything ridiculous.
How long have you been collaborating with Laura Gaffke? What is that work about?
Laura and I met at Goddard College during our MFA residencies. It was an immediate friendship. We talk weekly on the phone for hours and visit one another once or twice a year (she lives in Connecticut). Our conversations can run from laughing at ourselves to philosophy on life, to techniques we are trying in our studios. I believe our great friends are the ones that are continually pushing us to be better people.
What is your favorite thing in your studio?
My roller skates from my years of playing roller derby on the Lowcountry Highrollers. They remind me of my tougher side and doing things that surprise even myself.
The soundtrack of your life would include what musicians?
Elementary School: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springstein
Middle School: Whitesnake (the 45 record no less), Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, anything I could tape off the radio (hahaaa)
High School: Led Zepplin (box set), Aerosmith, Nirvana, U2, Live, Pearl Jam
College: Black Crows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins
Adult life: I got into crunchy folk music for a while when I lived in Boston and saw a lot of live music in Cambridge, MA. Recently I have returned to some of my bluesy rock favorites such as Black Keys and Buddy Guy.
You could have a super power. What is it? Why?
I LOVE Marvel movies. I actually like characters like Black Widow who don’t necessarily have a superpower but kick some serious butt with her intelligence and athleticism. Strong female characters get me fired up!
Most memorable travel experience.
I recently traveled to Ireland with my husband to celebrate 20 years of marriage. Not only was it a fantastic time together, but also experiencing the landscape moved me greatly. The rugged cliffs falling into the ocean contrasted with the mellow green hills was unlike anything I have seen or felt. Traveling and living in other countries for a few months in the summer is my goal in the coming years.
Currently which artists are you obsessed with or inspired by? Why?
Yayoi Kusama for her originality and honesty with self and others. Betye Saar for her holding true to the fact that art is about ideas and her unwavering work challenging stereotypes. Aldwyth for her persistence as a working artist for decades despite rejections, not to mention her gorgeous aesthetic and ability to assemble found objects in exciting ways.
Why do you work with objects and found imagery?
My parents are antique dealers so I grew up around fascinating objects hanging from the ceiling and tucked into corners. They still find treasures for me (such as the watch mold in my drawing titled “Passing Time”). This fascination with objects has extended to natural objects I gather on walks, paddles, and bike rides. The objects become a metaphor for reconnection with self and the earth.