© Jody Boyer. Courtesy of the artist.
This body of work began in April 2020. While I sheltered in place with my family I found myself reflecting not only on self-care but also on the roles and responsibilities of how we tend to each other, our shared communities and humanity. In my kitchen, while I prepared food for my family, I began to explore creating ephemeral sculptural objects. As artists, we can problem solve and remain creative even in times of crisis, with little to nothing on hand. I reflected on the dichotomy of a world metaphorically frozen by the pandemic that is also literally melting from climate change, and how these events are deeply connected. I thought about my roles as caretaker-mother-teacher-artist. As I pondered these issues I began to see my kitchen with new eyes. My kitchen and my studio became one. The science of ice, food coloring and my freezer became my artistic tools and my kitchen a photo studio. I used decaying leftovers from flower bouquets bought to brighten our domestic space. My children and I also began foraging in our neighborhood as a way of thinking about place, where our resources come from and sustainability. This is new work for me, but tied to my identity as artist-researcher-mother-teacher. The work investigates domesticity and physical change on a metaphoric and visceral level: loss, the fleeting existence of cut flowers and the organic world, decorative glassware meant for celebration used by women to beautify homes, grief, the passing of time, death and our melting world are all embedded in the eye-candy of these sculptural still-life photographs.