questions posed by Selah Saterstrom, October 2006
SS: What artists—or other events/things/pieces—have informed your process in significant ways?
COI: Day to day experiences as well as my past are the main influences, and I let these events, ideas, and memories inform the work, my process, the materials and the forms they take. The “Freezer” paintings are about frost in nature, things I witnessed while living in the snow, but they were made at a later time when I was also thinking about a coldness in people. So the work became about the point of freezing and melting, its effect on forms and what occurs
just under the ice.
SS: When I first encountered your work, I was working on a book concerned with the relationship between the visceral and the ethereal. Looking at your paintings, I felt that the complexities between these two conditions had been given a kind of visibility that was very particular. How do you, through your work, feel the relationship between the visceral and the ethereal?
COI: There’s visceral and ethereal there, in a visual language as well as in the ideas and processes. I try to tap my history and experiences in my work, constantly mining my past and current situation for an understanding and dialog—the result is often a very layered moment full of contrasting ideas and handling of materials. With the combination of paint, ink, paper, and fabric, I explore the healthy, sick, sublime, wet/dry, sexual, growth, rot, stiff/limp/squishy, thriving and failure that are the fragile properties of the body and nature.
SS: What are you up to at the moment in your studio?
COI: I’m continuing working with this theme of the life processes in plant and animal forms. There are works on paper, an ongoing installation project, about a dozen mixed media paintings and oil paintings, and a few unruly wall pieces in the works for a few upcoming solo and group shows. It’s a productive time for me, and I’m excited about the development of the work and with the direction I’m going.