Kristen Miller

Gallery Affiliations: PDX

Region: Pacific Coast

Fruit has been a catalyst for ideas and raw material in my work. Concepts such as body, nature and time are incorporated with natural materials like berries or juice, and as a result become a metaphor for life. Most recently I have used the thin, tissue-like paper protecting tender produce during shipment. When we buy a piece of fruit at the store, we are unaware of the hands through which it has passed and the path that it has taken to get to its final destination. All of these events remain unseen by the consumer, a kind of invisible network of growth, action and order. There is an elusive quality to the way season and time direct the production of fruit. When does a season begin? At what point is it too late? Produce is inherently impermanent and short-lived. We wait and watch for the silent, gradual changes that form its shape and color. Then the fruit is eaten at its most beautiful, perfect state.

The fragile fruit wrappers that are used in my work have a life and a history. Their handled, worn surfaces are similar to skin. Images and text refer to both far away places and those close to home. Glassine and watercolor convey light, liquid, and translucence. Beads resemble seeds or cells and become a measurement of microscopic life, accrued labor, and the passage of time. The act of repetitive stitching represents drawing, coding, and writing; it is a way of transcribing energy and movement into numbers, spaces, and time. My work reflects the fleeting quality of our lives.