The work I find useful always somehow integrates deep tranquility and frank biological energies. By useful I mean simply that which, beyond theory, makes an undeniable, tangible impact on my experience and perhaps those of others. There is no formula here, just perhaps existential integrity: to be fully embodied in this charged and sentient universe means unblinkingly re-uniting cold scientific law with the hot prophetic imagination.
I began my journey with this current series of works (“Mother Goddess Muse”) on a day when my daughter Tasya, then about four years old, and I decided to take a walk at a nearby forest. Her truly vivid experience of the outdoors reminded me of why I enjoy walks. We would find feathers, seedpods, shells, small bones and other records of varied plant and animal lives. She picked up leaves, and flowers, and looked to find a way to keep their gentle curves and vibrant colors intact. Her beckoning hands spilling over with petals, pinecones and ferns were the seeds for this series.
So at the most immediate level, my present work is a journal representing the botanical life that we encountered together on our walks. But more archetypally, the inherent personality of each leaf, blade of grass or other item began to resonate with the purpose and larger whole that formed our daily experience.
The process by which shaping this work has for me revealed the layers of aesthetic possibility also affirms the specific function of the artist as an unstoppable explorer. Linking the natural world with its correlates in autobiography allows art to be a force which can drive all of our futures – individually and collectively.
The work as a living process steadily reminds me that our innate connectedness with the world and cosmos around us manifests elegance and grace. By anthropomorphizing the world’s inherent rich order and beauty, I aim to make more recognizable and human such grace and dignity along with the semi-representational figures.
Additionally, such a primacy of biological elements in both art-making and finished work can make available to us the reality that all life forms, including our own, are components of a larger organism: specifically, of our first mother, the earth.
Commercial forces sentimentalize and trivialize such realities as “Mother Earth,” “Father Time” and related archetypes. Artistically declaring the centrality of these realities can therefore reinvigorate and heal our increasingly co-opted and de-sacralized world.