This series began when one day looking at the patterns on the wings of a swallowtail butterfly, I wondered “What if the patterns mean something, some language neither I nor the butterfly know or remember anymore?” And then I had the more disturbing thought that maybe the arrangement of my own features, my symmetry and the lack of it meant something too.
Science fiction author James Blish over 50 years ago posited the premise of seeding planets with genetically modified humans. My theory is that no matter how much we change, or are changed, some things will remain the same. Even if our outer appearance is altered, our characters will still be either good or bad, and our impulses will still be self-serving or generous. I believe that genetic imprinting leaves its mark on all of us, despite our efforts to escape it.
My work is figurative in nature; this is what I find interesting. I find people and their emotions and gestures to be a source of constant fascination. In my current and recent work, most of this is trying to show how these people would like to be seen, just as we have historically done with our artwork. I try to create small, discrete worlds with my pieces, complete with their own iconography and mythology.
In the Celtic Piece, Pantropy and Iron Mountain, these concepts are demonstrated by the echoes back to a history they don’t know but sense, and the desire to tell a story with an object, just as we have always done. We may not know what the symbols mean or what event the sculpture is commemorating, but would know that it meant something to them. I believe that the human impulse to create something, anything, can’t be stifled. We are what we make and we make what we are.