Predominantly known for her large-scale site-specific installations which often incorporate discarded elements from DIY renovations, Mathis’ small-scale collages bring these larger conversations on domestic space into a more intimate and personal scale. Her works are explorations on the everyday architecture of dwellings and the overlapping yet disjointed elements of how we recollect and piece together the places we pass on a daily basis.
“I am interested in the ordinary details of our domestic architecture” Mathis states, “and how they can portray feelings about place and time.” These everyday elements take center stage in her work, especially in the form of window and door elements, which act as the connecting features that bind each collaged element together. Like an incomplete memory, Mathis’ collages are made up of fragments pieced together with a logic uniquely their own; forming structures that feel at once familiar and disorienting.
All the images used in the collages were taken by Mathis in either Brooklyn or Queens. They are photographs she has captured while walking through these neighbourhoods on a daily basis; a way of connecting and identifying the reoccurring elements in the buildings. They highlight the everyday architecture of the mundane and how some forms of architecture can be very regional and specific.
In one of the newer pieces, Memory Study 11, 2018, materials previously used only in her installation and assemblage work have directly carried over into the collages. The upholstery and linoleum flooring—taken from one of these buildings—form an interesting conversation with the photographs and imply the abstract nature of the fragmented and sometimes lost memories that that are tied to a place.