Using humor and metaphor I visually describe the vagaries and challenges of being human. I work quickly and with a sense of urgency. When I draw onto paper or scratch into clay I’m trying to make sense of the world, one figure at a time. They’re symbolic, players in a larger story. I use a cartoon-like style, reminiscent of children’s drawings. I don’t use a horizon line, specific light source, or other indication of time or place. The figures inhabit their own world and follow their own rules.
I’m an observer of human behavior. What drives us? What makes us tick? What happens during the all-important encounters that continually occur? How can I, using tangible materials and literal images, describe what can’t be seen? The figures are important but it’s what’s happening between them that I’m after. The “Shouting Sticks”, for example, have recently been used by a group of angry protestors who have put them down hurriedly after the march has ended.
Topics that resonate for me personally, and at the same time open up new ways of looking at social issues, are rich with potential. I begin with a large, compelling idea: “Women”, for example. I develop and research questions, investigating facets of the topic until I find a way in. I address questions such as; “Why do women not contest male sovereignty?” Choices of materials are determined largely by the ideas being expressed.
I’m looking for the power of numbers when I create large populations of sculptural or drawn figures. The sculptures that appear in the installation, “Pushovers Unite", based loosely on the old clown toy that comes right back up after being punched, are uniting in solidarity against oppressive forces and regimes. The hundreds of small faces in the “Encounters” installation are intended to show the significant similarities between us while at the same time, suggest the profound differences that, when addressed, can either unite or divide us.