[video, bark and dirt, 2004]
For years I have been investigating the body – exploring its surface, drawing it, painting it, replicating it – all in an attempt to capture a glimpse of a being’s own, particular numinous essence. I saw the human body and spirit as tightly-fused facets of one entity – the body as a spirit’s world all its own.
Then I lived with death. With the sloughing off of flesh – the cutting away of insides and falling away of outside and daily disintegration of everything that remained. Before my eyes the connection between the numen and its attendant body lost its tenacity. I realized that one could be a pile of ashes, hovering as if to crumble with a breath of air, while the other continued shining through its wasted host. Spirit became paramount. It, coupled with the temporal body’s implicit connection to the cycles of life on this planet became my foci.
And so, rather than trying to illustrate the human spirit illuminating its pristine bodily form, my work has become about creating physical metaphors for the visceral experience of being one with the planet physically, while at the same time transcending the human body’s earthen home. In doing so I am interested in using materials whose physical integrity mirrors the cyclical life of a human body: other living organisms. Equally fascinating as materials with which to work are the earth’s raw materials – the ever-present resources from which we come together and into which we fall apart: dirt, salt, wax, metal, sand, water, fire (light). These materials may be worked with alone or together. The only rule is that they must not be altered such that they can no longer return from whence they came.