The subject of my art is based on the relationship humans have established with the physical world. Wendell Berry, in his 1989 essay Nature as Measure writes, “But we know too that nature includes us. It is not a place into which we reach from some safe standpoint outside it.” This is a personal belief that permeates my sculptures; an attempt to reconcile our western understanding of separation and domination of the laws of nature with the quite obvious oneness. I glean perspectives on the subject from many authors and artists who address the land and our relation to it. These individuals, along with my personal experiences vegetable gardening, cutting firewood, collecting materials and spending time in rural settings provide me with insights that influence my perceptions on this subject. I try to balance reading, educating myself to my surroundings, with exploring the interconnected relationships of life. I seek to find my connection with the world.
As a result natural and manmade forms, shapes, colors, textures and lines are appropriated from the environment that I interact with on a daily basis, reimagined and incorporated into my sculpture. Observations of tools, of the vining tendrils in the garden, of plant structures, of insect life and seeds, the abrupt and graceful curves found in the trees, in the movement of water, etc., initiate the foundation, the inventory if you will, so integral to this work.
In developing forms and compositions my process involves a balance between reason and intuition mediated by formal concerns. When I enter the studio I am not consciously considering the information gleaned outside of that space but rather I begin to create parts, i.e. carving insect wings, casting body parts, bending wood into spirals and helixes, carving pod forms. The natural world presents itself in different ways so I have a collection of feathers, leaves, pinecones, acorns, insect remains to have on hand as an inventory and an inspiration.
As the work progresses these elements join together in compositions that speak to my overarching thesis. Within the work I connect disparate elements, an acorn cap placed on a chicken egg, a branch with foliage of feathers. In the same vein I use cast elements of the human form, hands and feet, atop reliquary type vessels containing elements from nature to express the interconnected relationship of humans and nature. Oneness.
This work emerges from a personal exploration, an exploration seeking my place in this natural system. The work is neither declarative nor didactic but is rather evidence of this exploration.