It is always difficult for me to write an artist statement. There are too many layers in my work to condense down to a few concrete statements. I follow the cracks in my work to individual details, then step back and take a look at the whole. But, when you start your work from the inside out, the details towards the whole, it is difficult to describe the finished product without acknowledging all those details. The list below is a list of descriptors. Maybe it gives a more tangible way to look at these works of art.
Fragility – A major theme in my work. It is more of a “fact” that I have to hurdle, rather than an intention. I consider these s culptures, not temporary installations. My greatest desire is that this work will out-live me. Why this is, I am not sure. But I think it is because I truly love my work, yet I don’t think of it as my work. It has a life of it’s own. I hope people can see what I see (or saw) at the time of completion. There is a point where I have worked every detail so completely that the work glows. The best way I can describe this “glow” is the difference light can make on an object, diffused light through the fog as opposed to direct sunlight. Where fragility becomes a significant hurdle is my attraction to things that are fragile. For example, the plants I use in my sculptures. I collect a great deal of material from the desert; a place where everything is dramatic. Plants don’t just wilt when they die, they become frozen, twisted and rigid. These plants are fractals from the whole; some pieces collected become my favorites. Yet these plants are so fragile, that they will shatter if dropped. When I install some of these plants on my sculptures, I start with my favorites. As the piece is installed and re-installed, these plants break, and the next installation has my next favorites. I struggle to keep my work from breaking, but it happens. The more the piece is installed the more it degrades. And although I feel I have seen the work at its pinnacle, in truth the work is changing, maybe for the better in some people’s eyes. This is my struggle with fragility, wanting to have my work outlast me, but at the same time the work is changing against my will.
The real as opposed to the artificial- It is important to me, to have real elements in my sculpture. I could make my life easier if I made models or molds of the fragile elements. But I believe the work would lose its life. The work is more about finding connections between disparate found objects, and letting subtleties rhyme than, preserving an idea. I build elements using found material, because of its life. The moss on the wood, 1950’s veneer for a model of a 1950’s T.V. This work is about found objects, giving inspiration for a world I create from my observations and imagination.
Abstraction – Although this work seems to have a narrative theme, it is not cohesive. I consider the work abstract, or a balance between the narrative and the abstract. The body of the work is abstract and I compose it of forms. But the forms have narrative elements. I approach the work in two ways, As an abstract sculpture exploring material and through the details, exploring the edges of what might be the setting of a short story.
Scale- Scale is important to me, as a whole piece. How the mind lords over the world of the miniature. How one can feel dwarfed by the structure as a whole. In every object I install, I consider scale. Sometimes it is important to have things the same scale and sometimes the lack of cohesion in scale is important to create more abstraction.
Weight- Weight is important to me as well. It adds to the realness of things. I do not want these to be models, light and stable, although that would be nice. The way a sculpture moves or breaths with the building, the tautness of the line suspending it… although because of that weight, I am more likely to break some crucial element. So, I have the tension between the ridiculously fragile and something quite heavy. Maybe this tension is what makes the work beautiful.
I paint with light and mass. Color is relegated to the under-painting, almost entirely covered by black. Texture and contrast are the crux of composition. In the absence of color I work with light using the property of absorption inherent in black. With cement as the canvas I can deepen the black and create a matte finish or polish the black to create an almost blinding reflection. The cement and its connotation of weight heighten the blackness yet the subtleties of finishes and texture give this weight and darkness an exquisiteness of warmth and light.
I transcend the black paintings’ evocation of despair and work towards beauty, bordering somewhere between these two emotions upon completion.