The primary inspiration for my work is the phenomenon of living organisms in the natural world. In particular, my focus lies in representing life forms, or critical parts of those, which appear to be in some way suspended in the fluid and space of their environment. These forms are evolving, growing, and replicating their way through their existence, paralleling that of our own. By using the limitless potential of clay, along with other materials, the pieces explore these ideas. They reveal a pleasing convolution of organic form and surface through the manipulation, distortion, and combination of disparate yet related natural elements. At the same time, in illustrating nature through the imagery of animal, botanical, and cellular biology in this way, the work becomes otherworldly yet strangely and unnervingly familiar. My intent is for the pieces to exist in a space of seamless illusion on their own accord, unfettered by the handicraft of man. A merging of fantasy and reality in the work is meant to elicit a degree of tension, furthered by qualities of somatic sensuality and formal ambiguity. In my work, these attributes visually and metaphorically relate to the human condition, and help to evoke a visceral and emotional response to our experience of the living world around us.
Aesthetically, the organic realm is replete with a variety of intricate detailed organisms, both exquisitely beautiful and wholly functional. They are beings of complex rhythmic patterns, elaborate curvilinear volumes, structural symmetries and asymmetries, growth and differentiation, lucid order and apparent chaos. A perfect fusion of structure and function folds and unfolds in the physical entities in nature, synthesizing life and movement through the environment. Arriving from this physicality and utility that exists is also an inherent sexuality, one that closely relates to our own. There is an undeniable and striking similarity of humans to other biological organisms; our forms and the intended function of those forms is ultimately linked to successful survival and continuation of the species, be it plant, animal, or human. Sexual and reproductive structures, embryos and the structures of necessary locomotion across varied species appear and develop in remarkably similar ways. It is this relationship between organisms in nature that is the most provocative to me. As a result, my work is informed by the aesthetic potential of representing and altering these structural and symbolic parallels.
The physicality and utility of nature interpreted in my organic forms ultimately serves as a metaphor for our human experience, emphasizing an exploration of intimate hidden places and invisible processes. Through careful articulations of rich surface and delicate mass my work expresses the diversity and activity of plastic sensual form, as well as incorporating a sense of grace and fluidity through implied movement. Veiled and unsettling references to both human physical and sexual reality and to foreign organisms are manipulated to cultivate cognitive mystery, inspire wonder and provoke the viewer. In doing so, my sculptures intend to animate the mysterious and potentially emotional nature of our biological surroundings. The compositions can provide the viewer not only with sumptuous sensual beauty, but also a more complex experience somewhere between pain and pleasure, scientific curiosity and aesthetic ecstasy, attraction and revulsion, terror and delight.
Stay up to date on all things Clay Studio with announcements, invitations and news delivered straight to your inbox.