My art visually dissects and explores the intricate relationships between humans and nature, specifically during environmental perturbations. As human-driven changes, such as climate change, overfishing and pollution, physically alter the Earth and shift how organisms interact, it is unclear how humans, plants and wildlife will fit into this unstable landscape.
What new relationships will form or disintegrate?
What are the direct and indirect effects of such profound environmental shifts?
A focal interest of mine is the cryptic, unexpected links between the functionality of natural ecosystems and their dependence on interconnectedness. For instance, clearing land for agriculture affects not only native plant populations, but also it can alter the biology, hydrology and chemistry that shape ecosystems in nearby rivers and coastal waters. These downstream, indirect connections fascinate me and motivate my frequent combination of aquatic and terrestrial life in the same sculptures.
This theme of indirect connections also encompasses the inextricable link between women and Mother Nature: a growing, fertile resource. Analogous to symbiosis, women are juxtaposed to men in a male-dominated society at the brink of self-induced environmental catastrophe. Yet, recent empowerment of women contrasts our vehemently exploitative culture. Thus, I often include the female figure or abstract forms evoking fertility to delve into the oft-forgotten relationship between femininity, maternity, harvest, and our finite natural resources.
Clay is my chosen medium because it is easily molded and harvested from the Earth. A unifying theme of my work is the force, explicit or hidden, of humans on nature. Thus, clay is a perfect conduit for exploring the fragility and resilience of nature and our resources in a human-dominated world. I also combine natural materials, such as seeds and agricultural products, with clay or place my works outdoors, to further contrast man-made versus nature-made. The clay, shaped by my will, can either be fired to an indestructible state or remain raw and vulnerable to the forces of nature.
By combining human figures, wildlife, natural materials, and biomorphic shapes, I seek to create sculptures that balance realism with the fantastical to explore central and unexpected unexpected connections between humans and nature. I intend my creations to inspire critical thought about how deeply all life is connected.
"I HAVE ALWAYS FELT IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO IN ADVANCE, THEN YOU WON'T DO IT. YOUR CREATIVITY STARTS WITH WHETHER YOU'RE CURIOUS OR NOT."
FRANK GEHRY, Architect