Publicly on Display 06.05.15 – 07.27.15
I seek forms that are archetypal and self-contained in the way of a stone or a piece of fruit. Desire, disease, fecundity and constraint are recurring themes; I worry at them like a dog with a bone. By wrapping, polishing and embellishing, I make physical metaphors for these ideas and give in gracefully to the human desire for artifice and decoration.
In the beginning, I sketch, exploring variations of ideas until something resonates at the gut level and I am compelled to make it real. Creating a positive by removing material is both magical and challenging; wax is a pleasure to work – cool, responsive, translucent. As I carve, form and meaning shift. Knowledge, intuition, imperfect memory and imagination coalesce into hybrids that inhabit a zone between the organic and functional, the psychologically charged and the coolly neutral.
Visiting Scottish museums as a child, I was fascinated by ancient Pictish stone spheres. The museum didactics said only “use unknown, possibly ritual”. Oddly functional in appearance and old beyond my comprehension, these forms had presence and mystery and gave me a sense of the power small objects can have.
Tiny things invite intimacy, begging to be held and rewarding close inspection. Working at this scale allows for a higher level of detail, focus and intensity. Casting the waxes into bronze carries it’s own risk. Lost wax casting means just that, the pieces are destroyed in the process. But if all goes well, they will last a thousand years and acquire a history of their own. Most importantly, the tactile pleasure I experience while creating them is shared with others.
These objects have become repositories for everything I have learned from being a human at this time and place; I strive for perfection to increase their chances of survival. They may be fragile and vulnerable, but if I succeed, they will endure.