Artist's Statement for Life Support
I strive to generate imagery that will circumvent automatic reaction, and draw the viewer toward a deeper sense of intensity with regards to the body. The work is anatomically driven and often involves layering of animalistic, medical and or fetishistic overtones. This layering of elements reconfigures the bodies to signify something other than ordinary human conditions. The sculptures are intimate, private, and wild - captured moments that are expressive of desire for flight, power, magic and transformation.
The exhibition, Life Support is comprised of a group of human figures and horses that appear to be disheveled carnival performers. There is evidence of both virtuosity and trauma in the bodies, bodies that tell stories of fallen angels, hospital rooms or a hazy piano waltz.
The carnival, as a context for presenting imagery has a captivating and multi-dimensional effect: it houses cultural underpinnings to do with virtue, conformity, disfigurement, seemliness and the haunting unknown. The sculptures in Life Support engage the viewer with this echoing multiplicity.
This body of work incorporates an array of wing-like appendages made of bones and antlers from horse, cow, moose and elk remains. The bones hold the extensive and enigmatic histories of these giant animals; the unfathomable complexity of their lives and their deaths. The wings are a visual metaphor for how the body finds freedom; alchemy, resilience, pleasure, abandon, release - but these decrepit bone wings also carry a ghostly implication of finding flight via death. When the bones are embedded into the figures, they offer a testament to the life of the animal, but also to the more animal aspects of human nature; our instinctual desires and fascinations that often drive us in ways we cannot understand or perceive.
Life Support is part of a body of personal research on the effects of trauma: how we transcend, survive and thrive when it breaks us, and how we achieve meaning through this process. With this work, I am interested in speaking about the breaking apart. What do we learn from it? How do we learn from it? What is generating the passions and profound strengths that so often occur when we surrender to it, and cleave to life? The sculptures, with their medical devices and boney accessories, are essentially an exploration of the idea that the trauma itself bestows the power to grow wings or cultivate liberation.