Artist’s Statement

It is the role of the sculptor to make ideas physical. How does someone make an intangible, an emotion, into a material object that can be touched or held? What is the evidence of that process? There is a tension between the concrete object and the metaphysical idea. The sculptor’s job is to toil within that tension and present us with the results of that work.

Clay, like human flesh, is moist and yielding to the touch. Clay can be rigid, but lacking tensile strength, like human bone, breakable. It is dust, dissolving in water, becoming airborne. Through the process of extreme fire, it becomes a solid and permanent. Evidence in the form of ceramic objects provides all that we know about the existence of some ancient human cultures. Ceramic tile provides the skin on space shuttles. There is a lot to this stuff. And it can do anything.

In my sculpture, clay is used for its ability to mimic flesh over bone, muscle and skin. I reference the human body and fragment it, often utilizing only the most expressive parts of the body- the face and the hands – disappearing or dematerializing everything else. The absence of body parts is as significant as their presence. The work is about identity and experience. How much of what we perceive or believe about ourselves and our experience is real? What does it mean to be seen? How are we represented? What is the physical evidence of our experience? What becomes of us when we die? What do we leave behind?

My sculpture is an attempt to answer these questions, and they are serious questions. But often the answers are funny. What interests me most is the absurdity, poignancy, and irony of the human experience. Strongly influenced by popular culture and a sense of place, there is a futility to my figures and their struggle. Language features prominently in the work through titles or text on the work itself, and there is often double-entendre.

Objects and images are collaged together to hint at a narrative…or hit you over the head with it. The work can be brutal, but metaphorically so. My parameters are physical as well as conceptual: anatomically correct heads and hands that confront us on a human scale. I hope we recognize ourselves in the work and laugh, or cry.

 

Advertisements