The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, 16"x 14"x 11", Fired clay with stains and 22K Gold leaf, Private Collection: Kansas City, MO
These sculptures were inspired by my fascination with words -- how stories can create entire worlds and how we use words to create the context for our lives, but also the images a single word creates in my mind. I came across the word 'synchronic,' referring to something existing at one point in time, and began considering how that word was expressed in narrative sculpture -- an inherently synchronic object being used to tell a story, which is in its nature diachronic, something happening over time. I wanted to explore the possibilities of including both in a single object.
Originally, I began writing on my sculptures to show the powerful potential words have to define and even create realities -- what other people say to us and about us can have a dramatic impact on our views and experience in life. Layering text on a figure creates an intriguing dichotomy. We respond instinctively and viscerally to the 'body language' -- the posture and pose in a figurative sculpture -- and more intellectually to the written word. I find that my mind flips back and forth between the visual imagery and being engaged in what the words say, expanding my understanding of the piece. The words themselves, emphasized by the planes of the body, create a pattern and texture as unique as the cadence of someone's speech patterns.
In The EPIC Series my focus is on stories we tell -- words we say about ourselves, words we say to ourselves, and words other people say about us. This is reflected in several ways in the series. I began with a more personal experience of identity -- how the stories we perpetually share with others, what we view as the defining experiences of our lives, somehow describe who we are and how we see ourselves. This moves into the experience of how we 'read' someone's life story in their body language and how they look -- how their story wraps around them, their internal landscape being reflected in their external visage. Other works bring into consideration how we can be constrained or defined by the stories people have about us -- the experience of words being as powerfully binding as physical restraints.
The EPIC Show installation at EVOKE Contemporary in Santa Fe, NM