Mead's work consists of small-scale mixed media collages which employ photographic images as their principal elements. Their size, never larger than a few inches, is intended to encourage a careful inspection of their complexity and obsessive detail. Mead's selections explore the three-dimensional possibilities of collage by presenting small sculptural collages within the context of a larger found object. This juxtaposition creates a sense of tension and balance, advancing the notion that the collages are tiny shrines or fetishistic icons.
Mead's meticulously crafted collages are created with an eclectic mix of vintage photographs, historical art reproductions, and images from popular print media. Mead's aim is to create multiple layers of color, texture, and meaning. This is accomplished by painting, tinting, inscribing with arcs and writing, and in some cases, overlaying with a translucent photographic halftone image.
The images institute a narrative that is carried forward through the representative and expressive nature of the objects or materials which are added to the work. These materials, which include balsa wood, glass, fibers, currency, gold leaf, wax, natural materials, and found objects, are selected for their physical qualities - color, shape, texture, and their ability to communicate emotion and feeling. The result is an exploration of themes that include: gender, human behavior, sexuality, and social prejudice. The multiple imagery and layers of material within the collages are intended to engage viewers in the act of decoding the multiple metaphors within the work.