A desire to understand my place in the universe drives my work. Using sculpture and drawing, my work meditates on the sublime multiplicity of the human experience. The questions in my work stem from spiritual concerns, using abstract means to delve into abstract ideas.
My compositions are inspired by microbiology, finding lineage in the Romantic artists of the 19th century. The Romantic sublime was defined by the great things in nature – torrential storms, cavernous depths, frightening heights, and infinitely barren deserts. The route of the sublime experience is found in a sense of amazement and is often linked to fear of something beyond our understanding or control. I look to the astounding intricacy in nature, the hills and valleys of microscopic flora and fauna. Romantic landscapes evoked the sublime by reminding the viewer of her diminutive status in relation to grand landscapes. In contrast to macro landscapes, I site the sublime in microbial terrain. In a time of environmental endangerment, I used an aesthetic of cellular accumulation to reference the vast numbers of the human race, swarming beyond what is sustainable. The abundance of this unseen universe parallels the unfathomable scale of humanity. The unfamiliar life in my work triggers a cautious curiosity, as it pushes beyond the boundaries provided for it invading our tense reality. My sculpted paintings merge my interest in the foreign terrain of microbiology with an examination of what Barnett Newman called the “abstract sublime”. These works reference Abstract Expressionism in its aim to induce a strong emotional response with its compositions of unfamiliar growth. Within these works, each individual is absurdly insignificant except for its interconnectedness to everything around them. Gathered en masse, these lifeforms overwhelm the structure upon which they grow.
Just as prehistoric artists recorded their presence using pigments of the earth, I use clay to explore my relationship to the earth and the universe. Sculpture allows me to make the unseen tangible. These landscapes, both simple and complex, familiar and unfamiliar, reflect on the vast network of multiplicity that operates just beneath the surface. Using clay connects me to rituals and cultures throughout human history. I am one of many makers throughout human history who uses this material to explore my link to the rest of the universe. Instead of relying on the ability of fired clay to withstand time, I use raw clay in order to embrace ephemerality, imparting these ominous masses with precarity. Impermanence enhances preciousness. The things that don’t last demand more careful attention.