What Grows from the Bottom
My work has always revolved on the fringe of the cycle of life and death. The continuous circle that connects humans, animals, and every other living thing. Living on the eastern shore all of my life, I began my artistic exploration by collection even before I knew that I was an artist. Bones, shells, rocks, dried seaweed, rusted objects piled up on dressers, in drawers, and naturally began to transform themselves into sculptures. Beginning purely as found object sculptures, the shapes and textures slowly evolved into other mediums, paintings, drawings, and arrangements leading into hand pinched ceramic sculptures.
Valentines Day of 2017, my best friend lost his battle to depression and ended his life. Following this loss, I began recreating and reimagining the landscapes of his home in Stroudsburg, PA, the Pocono Mountains. This project originally started as a direct response to the grief of his passing, that eventually evolved to figurative desolate landscapes. Parallel to these ‘Grief Landscapes/ Landscapes Through His Eyes’ was the ceramic series, ‘Of the Sea Floor.’ This series focused on a way of handling clay that was as much about the hands making the mark as the form that it created. These two bodies of work became about the physical relationship and the emotional space in between the tops of the mountain peaks and the bottom of the sea floor.
With the year anniversary approaching, the grief of reliving this traumatic loss moved me from the space in between directly to the bottom. My current work is about what grows from the bottom. This project still includes “Of the Sea Floor” work, continuing with familiar imagery of coral and seaweed, but with an addition the human presence, as well as rocks, mushrooms, dead flowers, and the night sky. There’s an insertion of hope, as when hitting rock bottom, the only direction now is up. This work is not only about the physical location of the bottom, but the psychological location of the bottom. Looking up, being under, growing up, growing in the dark damp places, are all important in this current series.