The human spirit lives, survives, and travels through life in spite of the obstacles and sufferings of existence. This flame or spark of life that is so easily extinguished can also be easily fanned into flames. Our environments and early emotional relationships form the framework of life, and can both foster and hinder our development as human beings. These emotional, familial, and spiritual relationships are critical in forming a sense of self and of belonging, and ultimately our understanding of the world.
Historically, figurative sculpture and portraiture were used to honor powerful and esteemed members of society. My focus is to combine traditional portraiture with subjects that are mostly invisible or marginalized in modern society. By recognizing them in sculpture, the work takes on new meaning that both honors the neglected and challenges traditional ideals of importance and value.
I work with the figure because of its visual familiarity and because of its uncompromising presence when it exists in space with us. Clay is the material for the figure because of the qualities it embodies in wet, dry, and fired states, which can represent the vulnerable and malleable nature of human life. Wet clay is a metaphor for the spiritual potential in human beings for growth and a possible “molding” of one’s life into something beautiful and substantial. And the transformative power of fire makes the once fragile clay, everlasting.