I strive to capture a sense of place and evoke a feeling of something familiar yet seen in a new way. It could be a town, a river, or boulders in a field. I am a quintessential New Englander. Vermont, New Hampshire and Québec are regions that inform my work, as well as my own heritage of French Canadian, Abenaki, and English. Materials hold a great significance for me, whether it is cold rolled steel, wool from the Johnson Woolen Mills, quills from the eastern porcupine, walnut ink I make, or black felt paper reminiscent of days working for my father, roofing. I believe that the visual recording of a moment in time is analogous to the oral tradition of history: both are interpretations of events.

I am trying to grapple with this idea in my recent work: Now the place is in my mind and body. The work deals with my inability to talk and my hands aren't working anymore, due to a rare neurological disease. It is about how I feel, what I think, and what I want to say. It’s new for me to use the written word in my work. Since I can’t talk anymore, it makes sense to me now to use writing. My own experiences past and present have affected my current state of being and how I navigate and move through the world. So, this is my new place, a state of being.

Brenda Garand