February 2004 –
After years of consideration I am removing the images of the “Individuals” sculpture series from my website. With my formal training as a contemporary artist, and life experience, I understand that creative work presents layers of meaning and interpretation and as time passes these layers may change or become reinforced.
The “Individuals” figures emerged from the idea of investigating the sculptural representation of the human form, applying upholstery techniques as a way of exploring surface, and conveying movement to conjure the human spirit. While working on the sculptures I almost immediately understood their visual connection to skin colour, and as such creating the possibility for the viewer to make an interpretation that connects with race. In relationship to my own heritage, over time it may be understood that the surface of the sculptures and their specificity to representing skin is inappropriate, coming too close to appropriation. Although I am proud and grateful to have created these beautiful forms and for the human spirit depicted through them, I understand my responsibility as a visual artist and they will need to revisit the studio.
June 15, 2021
Why do we create art?
It is to cast a net. We pull up the net and sometimes we find nature, sometimes we find fractions of societal topics, concerns, joys. We pull together the bits and pieces to become an object of meaning. This meaning becomes an object loaded with observation and more a provision than visionary, it provides. This meaning does not necessarily become a trajectory, a place we want to go, rather it is the result of trajectories. Do we want to continue in the direction of this depiction, feeling, moment, or idea? It may be cautionary, to take pause, to think about how the artists have imagined something or somewhere we do not want or hope to follow. In other ways, meaning may be hopeful, illuminating, a call to elevate the idea presented by the object. We must have faith in humanity to understand the difference.
If artwork seems predictive, what happened to make it so? Perhaps some artwork is trying to be more cautionary than predictive so what instances and systems were and are in place to realize something that we collectively hoped not to have occur? That is part of what makes art, film, music, so wonderful, that we may imagine insanity and not have to live it, and conjure the complex for contemplation. Creativity is part of our experiential sustenance.