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The Making of Full/Fill

The crew arrived at a Target in Lutz, Florida at 6am and got straight to work. Through the darkness we put together the design using a picture of a model I had made in my studio. The first mandala installation was a learning experience for sure.  Forever grateful to all who helped!

With the award of this grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, I pushed my ideas and my work to a greater scale and depth that I wouldn’t have as easily without it.   I took on a project of creating eight large-scale mandalas and it was quite an endeavor. I stretched myself to complete the work which included but was not limited to: researching stores with carts of specific colors, receiving permission from stores, finding the best stores to use based on parking lot aesthetics and distances safe for drone photography, finding a way to mock-up the design before the photo shoot, being at the store at sunrise to get a shot without shadows and dealing with opening hours, organizing helpers to arrange the carts, and finally editing the images to printing them.

I now have more confidence in myself as an artist to take on bigger projects and know that I have the skills to create them in the future.

The concept and meaning of the work itself is also continuing to unfold, as it’s available for the public to see. By exploring societal consumerism and consumption in a playful and possibly spiritual way, I’m helping to raise questions regarding the psychology and politics with which these subjects are intertwined.


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True Confessions of a Dyke’s Daughter

True Confessions of a Dyke’s Daughter, 2 channel video installation, Vietnam Veteran’s Art Museum, Chicago, 2005.


 Familiar Portrait, sculptural/ 2 channel video installation, 2003

Familiar Portrait, sculptural/ 2 channel video installation, 2003

 Familiar Portrait, sculptural/ 2 channel video installation, 2003

Familiar Portrait, sculptural/ 2 channel video installation, 2003

 Familiar Portrait, sculptural/ 2 channel video installation, 2003

Familiar Portrait, sculptural/ 2 channel video installation, 2003

Familiar Portrait

The viewer enters a room hung with walls of white spandex, hearing sounds of tinny voices and a floor being swept. Four internally lit columns holding masses of white doughy looking material stand between the walls. In the middle of this “maze”, two circular shaped video projections of hands are playing. Reaching toward the lens, being wrung or nervously smoothing fabric on laps, the hands videos are a rich complementary color combination of positive and negative overlays. Using my own family members who reside in three different cities, I use recorded phone messages and conversations to reveal stories of loss and personal coping mechanisms in this mysterious space. The overlapped voices and hands introduce the three personalities who share information, memories, and gestures.


 Detail of Gate Spiral, sculptural installation, Lumdsden, Scotland, Paula Brett.

Detail of Gate Spiral, sculptural installation, Lumdsden, Scotland, Paula Brett.

 Detail of Gate Spiral, sculptural installation, Lumdsden, Scotland, Paula Brett.

Detail of Gate Spiral, sculptural installation, Lumdsden, Scotland, Paula Brett.

Gate Spiral

This sculptural installation inspired by the landscape of Northeastern Scotland and the ritual of Tibetan monks’ sand mandala paintings. The piece was created from discarded planar objects found in abandoned grist mills in Lumsden, Scotland. Each object was re-painted in a one solid bright color and placed on posts with hinges, to resemble swinging gates. They were then installed in a farmer’s field in a spiral pattern, surrounded by local gorse flowers. The entire installation went up in one day and scheduled to be taken down on the following day.

Gate Spiral, site-specific sculptural installation, Lumsden, Scotland, 2000.


 Dry, ephemeral installation, Chicago, 2001.

Dry, ephemeral installation, Chicago, 2001.

  Shoe Games on Ice, ephemeral installation, Chicago, 2001.


Shoe Games on Ice, ephemeral installation, Chicago, 2001.

  Underaware, ephemeral installation, Chicago, 2001.


Underaware, ephemeral installation, Chicago, 2001.

Ephemeral Installations