For the past decade, I have chosen to work with boat and water imagery because of a challenge from a fellow sculptor and mentor to continue with the boat imagery I had introduced into my work. I use it both literally and metaphorically, and over the years, it has expanded in multiple directions including imagination, history, tragedy and fantasy.
I am inspired by the Vikings and the boats that they created to send their dead to the next world; my grandfather was a sea captain, and I grew up with boats and water as my surroundings; and I am also fascinated with immigration, migration and the journeys of life. My work and collaborative projects often share and cultivate aspects of family, memory and personal history through art as a form of transformation.
Currently I am continuing to explore and create inside the theme of “We are all in the same boat”; providing a port to launch courage, acceptance, equality, and freedom in the journey—a collective journey—and contemporary immigration.
This exploration is a natural outgrowth of earlier projects related to immigration and migration as well as the collective journey of ancestry, specifically a multimedia installation called Exodus Populace created years ago and my later book Flowing as Water. The journey continues as I embark on a body of work based on inspiration and collaboration with refugee communities and their personal journeys.
I choose to work predominantly in metal, because of its rich history as well as my own personal history from the age of five on. I also enjoy the permanence and the qualities of the material through the process of working with it to its final form. Occasionally I work in mixed media.
I think the viewers are most interested in the use of material and the fluidity that is present in form and shape, as well as the identifiable images and mystery present.
I want the viewers to sense the stories that are created within the ambiguity, allowing them to see themselves in the work, and pause to create their own stories.
Through art, creation and collaboration we can be the vessel of discovery, inspiration and the space of transformation for humankind.