Without Children

A few years ago, I drove past a park and noticed that there were no children playing on the playground. After that day, I observed more abandoned playgrounds. As a result of this observation, I decided to take a closer look and found remnants of childhood that once inhabited these places.  

As I went to these playgrounds, I took my camera to document the remnant belongings of these children whom once filled these playgrounds. What caught my eye was every playground that I went to had some toy or article of clothing left behind and waiting for its owner to return and reclaim it. The more I engaged myself in this project, the more I realized that children were no longer playing on these playgrounds. I began to see empty car seats, strollers, playgrounds, and backyards as if children were being erased completely. My only explanation to this phenomenon was that it must be part of my psyche letting go of the desire to father a child.

This work is not about cute, colorful children’s belongings. It is about the pain of living without something that is so deeply desired that you feel separated and alone from the rest of society. This work is for all of those want-to-be parents that struggle with loss that most do not even think of until it has already happened.

The playground is where a dad takes his son or daughter to push on a swing, to learn how to throw a ball or ride a merry-go-round. Right now, this home for child recreation has become a place of loneliness, depression, and mourning for what has not happened and may never happen. To me, this place reminds me that my life is being lived “Without.”

Sticks & Jars

My work in this series comes from the study of the use of ovulation and pregnancy tests, also known as “sticks and jars”.  As a man trying to come to grips with issues of infertility, I began the process of understanding through the study of the ovulation and pregnancy tests.  These objects are foreign to men.  I have studied the process of how these objects are used during the women’s menstrual cycle. For a year, my wife went through the process of using these objects to test for her peck ovulation and then to find out if we were pregnant that month. This process was a vicious cycle that lasted weeks of each month for a year. 

Waiting Room

Every day I sat and watched as she went into the bathroom to pee on a stick, take another test, inject some more medication, or deal with the next unwanted menstrual cycle.  There was nothing I can do to help but watch and wait.  

From January 1st, 2008 until December 31st, 2008 I captured this moment of waiting.  Some days I was ignored while other days I was the target of the frustration this process put upon us. 

I started this work not knowing where it would lead me.  After about two months, I printed a series as 20”x30” on watercolor paper for a show.  I realized after looking at the work on the wall that it needed to become a calendar of our year.  The final product became three panels printed at 36”x72” on silk and hung as an installation piece along with all the sticks, pill bottles and needles that were used in this process.