There was a monastic quality to hand-tearing a variety of papers into small bits and tiling the surfaces of some of the works in a mosaic-like fashion. It also felt extremely important to incorporate specific salvaged items and found documents from a church building into the paintings and sculptures. As in much of my work, the humble materials I used in these pieces were handled, and ultimately imbued, with an elevated sense of meaning. I brought together and transformed these items into artifacts—memorials that now serve as a material record of the weight of the time and emotional context in which each was made.
This body of work has taken on new depth and dimension amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This shared human experience bears some of the hallmarks of mystical transformation. “It is a time of being deconstructed, rearranged, and learning what is of greatest value,” says Stumpf, “and it offers a profound inner opportunity to experience the process of sacred alchemy.