Each of my works has a story behind it, usually stemming from life’s challenges. They address my relationships and the roles I play: daughter, mother, lover, friend, businesswoman, community organizer, artist. The premise behind each story is that if I am to know myself and live authentically and fully, then I must examine who I am in every context.
For me, art is a process of discovery where the work teaches me as much as I shape it. If a topic is worthy as a subject, I know little about it, even as it creates a deep emotional response in me. I try to explore what I do not know, seeking to give form and voice to the thing in each of us that is silent and tantric.
The language I use is the language of shape. I have discovered, through years of teaching and application, that sculptural expression takes its root in the symbolism of geometric form. Each of us responds to shapes based on our personal experience of them. For example, a triangle will remind us of a pyramid or mountain and our emotional response to that symbol is predictable. Triangles inspire us with the desire to climb. They are hopeful, transcendent, highly energized and exhilarating. When I use a triangular shape in my sculpture to accentuate an expression, I am describing and qualifying the form of my sculpture like an adjective describes and qualifies a word. The shapes I emphasize reflect a personal philosophy about my journey in life. The subjects I choose to sculpt are the landmarks that illuminate my path.
Behind all of this is a deep desire to confront the social trends that focus on destruction, reducing all of the combined human experiences to their simplest and most banal forms. I deeply believe that what is human is complex, rich and beautiful and I hope, through my work, to help rebuild a framework for beauty while I celebrate the best of what makes us human.
I often refer to my studio as my dungeon. I feel like the Greek god, Hephaestus, who was relegated to the bottom of a volcano after he was horribly deformed. From his smoking, dirty pit he was able to create the most beautiful metal art. Many believed his deformity enabled him to see beauty more fully. I take his deformity as a metaphor for the human condition, which is mine, and his stature as a god as a metaphor for divine intervention, for which I hope.