For the past 20 years, I have been making sculpture. Incorporating many fabric techniques, I use recycled metal, wire, and paint, to create sewn metal sculptures about pollution, habitat loss, complacency, human rights, extinction, and many other environmental and political issues. My work has been part of collaborative shows, and one person exhibitions. I want my work to get into peoples psyches and keep them thinking about the images for days, weeks.... I feel that whenever people think and ultimately talk about ideas the world changes. I maintain a cyber gallery of my sculpture thanks to a NH State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Fellowship received in 1998. I also take time every year to work as, artist in residence, in New Hampshires schools.
In 1993, an accepted collaborative proposal submitted to Inez McDermott, then director of New England College Gallery, Henniker, NH, resulted in a significant change in my direction as an artist and the materials I use. The proposal gave me an opportunity to collaborate with another artist, to explore new materials, and to exhibit the years work at the gallery. The years exploration focused on the tradition of ritual art forms that had relevance to my work as a visual artist. I was drawn to these forms because of the different orientation that they have from most western art, and that they are often incorporated into rituals that are used to reawaken, to remind us of an invisible, yet universal, pathway uniting and connecting all people with the earth and all its life forms. It was during this collaboration that I began experimenting with metal. Prior to this my sculpture had been constructed of fiber. Over the next few years my ideas evolved to incorporate mostly metal.
I live and work in a small house in NH. It was once a one room school house. The space is heated by a wood stove and there are big windows that allow the sun to stream through filling it with light. My ideas come from listening and watching what is happening on this planet, and then making art that can make change. I have made sculpture about the environment. Lost Habitat Installation consists of five sculptures Home Shelving for Lost Habitats, Falling Tree Taking Out a Specie a Day, Over Population and the Old Growth Tree of Life, Diversity Fill Tool, and Environmental Wreckage piece number 236. The White House affair got me started on my recent political sculpture.
My new work is about interaction. The idea for this series, came when I was among a few artists commissioned to create two sculptures for Concord, NHs first night celebration. I made two orbs. One had images of men throughout history, the other women. This gave me the idea to pair off people in a conversation. By placing unlikely characters together in an environment, I invite the audience to participate by creating a conversation. I want my work to get into peoples psyches and keep them thinking about the images for days, weeks.... I feel that whenever people think and ultimately talk about ideas the world changes.
I use the human figure, reduced to doll-like proportions, to help the viewer relate with relative ease to larger-than-life characters like Van Gogh and Joan of Arc. My medium, sewn metal, assembles, scraps, and squares of metal punched with holes and stitched with twists of wire. Each sculpture approximates a simple body or a miniature robot, with utensil limbs and a box-shaped frame for a head. They are like an all-purpose, fill-in-the-blank voodoo doll, the frame becomes a face when I inserts a small, photocopied picture of my chosen candidate.
My army of tin ears, in a battle to change the world, includes parodies that pair up Gore and Bush in a single sculpture, titled Self Inflicted Wounds. The metal figure crosses its arms out front in self-protection, and attached metal labels are printed with the politicians avoidable errors. I Did Bad on Reporters Pop Quiz, reads one, referencing an early Bush gaffe. I Invented the Internet, another label says, recalling Gores self-important misstep.
Some of my match-ups are funny and unexpected, suggesting links between the most unlikely couples. Joan and Satan Discuss Hot Seat is one such work. The idea of a discussion such a civil interaction between the devil and the martyr pushes hard at the limits of our imagining. The Cutting Edge with Bobbitt and Van Gogh disregards boundaries of time and place to partner Lorena and Vincent, two quirky characters with a shared penchant for chopping off appendages. The title poking fun at the vernacular of the American media.
My recent combinations are more introspective, asking the viewer to imagine, The Edge of the Earth Embracing the Other Side or Seeds of Change Taking Root in The Soul of Life. However, it is the interaction in, The Wings of Flight Strap onto Forever Young between the wings and forever young that remain the focus in my life and my sculpture.
Thank you for spending time with me. I hope to meet you at a future exhibition.