As a sign or measure, an index points our thinking from one thing to another. In her ongoing series, Index/Composition, Simmons constructs collections of found objects on human figures. From bird nests to vintage photographs, magazine pages to feather boas and plastic toys, swatches of fabric to Polaroids and package labels—these cultural artifacts suggest something about the figures who hold them. Though we cannot see the figures’ faces, the assembled objects give us stories in a sort of collaged, abstract portrait.

Taking in each element, we can wonder where the individuals are from, what experiences have shaped their lives, and where they might be going. What conclusions do we draw based on our first glance? What more can we imagine as we take in elements that don’t fit those assumptions? And, what can we learn about ourselves from the associations we make?