“My intention in creating art is irrelevant. I like to believe that art exists in a state of ‘without why’ and ‘just because’. Not in the sense that the art speaks for itself as this suggests that the art has to fit into the conceptual space of language. And not in the sense of art for art’s sake as this alternatively suggests that art exists outside the unity of living experience. Art needs no language; it is tacit. Call it unvoiced; or better, pre-voice. However, having said that, in developing art, I must begin at some reference point of experience. I begin with specific space, form, light and shadow in which these elements are evocative and, again, without voice, without a why. I follow this initial reference point, a place, a room, in a certain mood following an aesthetic path rather than a thinking one. My guides along the way are color harmony, composition and light and shadow. The residual narrative is a trace of the original reference point.”
“The bronze “Passenger” is inspired by my two-week hiking trip to the Outer Hebrides with my husband, sister, and niece. We hiked the island of Lewis, the upper most island in this string of islands off the coast of Scotland. We hiked for miles over the bogs that were only populated with sheep.
The various pastel markings painted on the sheep designated ownership of the sheep. I’m not sure if sheep kept to their assigned bog lands. However, it is Scottish rule outlined in the Land Rule Act that gives anyone – citizen or non-citizen – the right to freely cross onto any land or body of water as long as the person is respecting others, respectful of the environment, and take responsibility for their action on that land or water – regardless of ownership.
Of course, according to one mama sheep, this legal right to walk to the heart’s intent was meaningless and she angrily chased us off “her” bog. I never saw my husband run so fast.
I have always had an affinity to sheep. Perhaps it is the many years of knitting and my love for yard shops. In one yarn shop I saw an old photo of sheep gathered onto an open boat, being transported over a wide body of water. The shop owner explained that sheep were transported to the islands via these open boats. Traveling in open boats was treacherous to the sheep and some would fall overboard. This photo had a lasting impression on me.
In the bronze “Passenger” I wanted to portray a single sheep. In the style of those creatures adorning buildings (originating in Egyptian architecture protecting tombs and passed onto to the gargoyles on Cathedrals….although unlike the Egyptian, I suspect the gargoyles served the double purpose of reminding its members of evil presences) I wanted to add a protecting creature to accompany the sheep on its travels. When I was a child, we always had a St. Christopher’s medal on the dashboard of the car – the protecting saint of travelers.”
Hebrides and When You Wake You Will Have Cake
“These sculptures are also inspired by the sheep on this hiking trip. When you wake you will have cake is a line from a lullaby sung by Odetta, the folk singer and I thought it a fitting title for a lamb’s head.”
State of Waiting and The Watcher
“These bronzes evolve out of my original interest in first chairs, and then birds of my paintings.
I spent many hours drawing at the Ornithology Lab of Cornell and these are from those drawings. Of course, the magpie (“The Watcher”) has magical powers assigned by different cultures – particularly as a guide leading you to safety. This bronze is actually “magpie – ish”.
Because I am not interested in illustrating things in my art or showing the viewer “what a chair looks like” or “what a magpie looks like”, I give myself whatever freedom to create the imagery to my liking. I obviously changed the slender beak of the magpie to a fuller rounded one…that and other things lending the sculpture to be more symbolic rather than demonstrating my skills in bird identification. Likewise, “State of Waiting” is a hawkish bird. I placed the bird on a chair because my own birds, the two parrots Bela and Vera, like to perch on chairs. In fact, Bela the African grey has his own high chair for eating dinner with us – me sharing things with him from my plate. If he likes it, Bela reacts with “Ouuuu! or an “Ahhhhhh.” If not, he dramatically flings the food on the floor in dismay. He loves sweet potatoes, pasta, green beans, and goes wild over tofu.”
“This obviously is from my many drawings from the Ornithology lab, a snowy white – ish owl.”
Leaving the Desert
“I created this piece as a maquette (small version of) a life-size camel I created for a year-long solo sculpture exhibition I had at the Erie Art Museum from 2020 until 2021. This small piece (that is cast in paper) was particularly difficult to cast. For strength, I needed to weld an internal steel armature. The walls in all the paper cast pieces are very thick – about 1-3 inches thick. The paper cast sculptures, therefore are very strong and durable. Obviously because the camel’s legs were thin, I couldn’t rely on the hardening strength of the paper and instead created the steel armature.”