A radical bond supports the vast diversity of appearances in nature. The unifying element has been called energy, or as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “thought is the common origin.” This guiding principle, an enduring fascination with nature, and a life lived in many different landscapes and cultures provide the impetus for my work.
My research is driven by a need to understand the ontological implications of my own direct experiences, as well as those of the natural sciences especially in the fields of biology, geology and cosmology and the fascinating places where these overlap. My work seeks to embody an experience of curiosity, discovery, and creative interpretation of recurring systems in flux in the natural world, and raise questions about our relationships to, and within those systems; to create an encounter for viewers that weaves together aesthetic imagination, the visual cultures of science, and the raw sensory experience of material form. Through drawing and sculpture, I give form to my own progressing comprehension of how existence is.
In practice, I synthesize abstracted formal references to plant, animal, and geologic structures both real and imagined, patterns of growth and dissolution, systems of organization, and disparate scale relationships to create drawings and sculptures that inhabit the fluid margins between categories. Through this investigation I share my curiosity about the thread of coherence that pervades the spectacle of variety in life.
“We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Over-Soul”
Weave, unravel; elaborate, obliterate.
I create ceramic compositions in the round using a myriad of ceramic materials and application and masking methods. The results are varied, colorful, lively surfaces, with an emphasis on strategic combinations, layering, and experimentation. Visual content is imbued with patterns from nature--of growth, accretion, dissolution, with geometric tessellations, symmetry, gesture, micro- vs macrocosms, color theory, and with the narrative quality of idiosyncratic layered, accumulated marks. When completed, I give these highly expressive works over to the soda firing process, bestowing upon it the final word in design. I delight in the serendipitous nature of a soda atmosphere: what the soda contributes, what it washes away. There is a wonderful sense of freedom in surrendering a work to this type of firing, and a sweet anticipation of results which cannot be wholly predicted. This method can be described as a collaboration between my planning and expression, and the kiln's sweeping endowments and editing. This way of working draws me toward deeper insight into and acceptance of the ceramic process, surely, but also of life, the big picture: we make plans, simple but often elaborate; we strive for the best outcomes, and life may deliver disappointment or something even greater than anticipated. In any case, the happiest response as I see it is to remain open to surprises, resilient to setbacks, learn, grow, give thanks; to mingle and dance within the complex harmonies that compose this creative existence