Transformation is an unavoidable, often unwelcome part of existence. Children become adults. Friends become lovers. Lovers become strangers. The young become old. The living pass into legend. These transformations are reflected in the tales and myths we tell to understand life through symbols. Humans become plants. Animals become human. Strangers come, bearing burdens of change. We find ourselves in thin places where lines blur between the visible and the spirit worlds.
My work has always been informed by a fascination with these myths, legends and visions.
My sculptural work draws on the embodiment of these myths in the ritual woodcarving of medieval Europe, Africa and Pacific Northwest indigenous culture. These traditions depict powerful spiritual beings in stylized human form. In adapting these forms to modern figures and concerns I want to challenge the viewer to see their daily decisions and trials, the transformations they cause and endure in the light of epic myth.
My two dimensional work draws on medieval religious imagery and classic illustrations of legends and fairytales. By placing mythic figures and surreal anomalies in modern contexts I want to question our faith in the reality of the waking world, its rules, and the primacy of its values: pleasure, power, control. Perhaps instead when we face the incomprehensible and die, bit by bit, sacrifice by sacrifice, we are most truly alive.
This work is the result of explorations of the themes of myth, identity and transformation over two decades of my career as an artist. It is a record of constant transformations, gradual and violent within art and life. At its best art is a tool that helps us face reality. In the body of work here I have tried to challenge the viewer and myself to see reality through new eyes.