Marginalia Reflexive


Marginalia Reflexive consists of a series of drawings I completed over 15 years. I began creating them in high school, not as a conscious artistic endeavor, but rather as scribbles while I sat, bored, in class. My pen wandered on what I had handy: the inside covers of spiral notebooks.

Over time, I finished college, joined the professional arena, got married, and welcomed our sons into the world. I traded classes for meetings, spiral notebooks for legal
pads. I kept drawing.

The love letters, lecture notes, and meeting records these sketches adorned are mostly gone now. These drawings exist as remnants initially kept for no conscious reason. I never thought about what I was drawing or why.

In the past couple years, that changed. I began to realize these drawings and their stories represent a cohesive body of work. One that might encourage others to create, even
as it reflects me and my relationships.

In “Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods,” Shawn Wilson wrote about an indigenous, relational epistemology (or way of knowing). He argued that for some native peoples, to know is really to relate. Acknowledging potential colonial undercurrents, this connective way of being in the world resonates with me.

As you look at the pieces and read their stories, you may thus see how Marginalia Reflexive represents visible, tangible reflection of my relationships with others, with places, with ideas. These convoluted, turning pieces have no true orientation—save, perhaps around. When I draw, I keep turning them so that elements wrap back into themselves, ever connecting, ever reflexive. Ever echoing how we relate.

This exhibition is deeply personal for me. As physical things of ink and pulp and edges, their longevity mirrors us all: transient components, deteriorating with time. I appreciate their finite nature. They mirror me; to take them in, read their stories, and connect with them is to strum my relationships. To join my relational song.

I welcome you to sing along.