I am an artist focusing on the ‘ecological self’, living and working in Maine. I often work collaboratively with individuals and organizations from a variety of fields, particularly poetry, biology and ecology. My focus is on the human body, patterns and symbols from nature that reoccur across cultures, and natural materials. I sculpt life-size figures in water-based clay, and then cast them into an architectural concrete. Ground pigments mixed with beeswax or shellac, and natural materials such as wasp paper, bark, roots, and seeds are often used to finish the work.
I am classically trained in anatomy and figure structure, but I work in the tradition of indigenous sculptors, gathering my materials from the earth. I have always been drawn to the various religions of the world, particularly their symbols and imagery. Through my work I strive to develop new symbolic ideas that are relevant today.
In my view, nature speaks to us in relationships and symbols, the very language of art. My figurative work explores these relationships and symbols and the ways they work through us to connect us with our physical world. These symbols from nature, such as the mountain and cave, bees and honey, circles and stars, eggs and nests, inevitably come through the work and guide my creative journey. I often work on one large life-size sculpture and simultaneously create several smaller satellite pieces. In this way, the relationships between the different artworks carry as much meaning as the individual pieces.
I consider my work research and I document my entire process. Later, I distill the essence of my journey into hand made books that explore the meaning of the symbols and images, their specific relationships and what I have discovered about them through the process of creating the interconnected pieces of artwork. These books become a font for future images.
Sacred art of traditional cultures has been a central influence in my work. Hildegard of Bingen, Louise Nevelson, Kiki Smith and Louise Bourgeois have also been great influences in my work and in my life as an artist.
Currently, I am investigating the idea of an “ecological unconscious.” This has led me to study Jungian psychology as well as comparative theology. From this research, I am developing ecological portraits of ourselves as nature. If the natural and human worlds can be felt as one, we may one day understand that we are nature and act in ways that don’t destroy us. This ideal is at the core of the work I am doing now.
Please join me in discovering the ‘ecological self’ by filling out this survey. The survey helps me gather data and develop new imagery for the work.