overawed by quantity where counting no longer makes sense. By unrepeatability
within such a quantity... A crowd of people or birds, insects or
leaves, is a mysterious assemblage of variants of a certain prototype.
A riddle of nature's abhorrence of exact repetition or an inability
to produce it. Magdalena Abakanowicz
is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds...There
is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature--the
assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
creative work is inspired by the complex web of relationships that
exist between the human culture and the natural world.
in Nine" is a sculpture that was created prior to September
11, 2001. One in Nine is a tribute to my mother and a group of women
friends that she has met with on a regular basis for many years.
The meetings as well as the group are known as Stitch. Sewing projects
and conversation are of equal importance to the members of the Stitch
group. Growing up, I loved it when Stitch was at our house, because
it was fun to listen to the women talking with each other and I
found the projects that they were working on fascinating. This neighborhood-based
group acts as a supportive network for one another in ways that
I find important and admirable.
title "One in Nine" comes from the importance that our
culture places on numbers and generating statistics. How many times
have we heard an expert say, "One in nine women will...(insert
fact here)." Experts in our culture seem to gain authority
with numbers and statistics. The title, One in Nine, was chosen
to comment on this cultural phenomenon.
"One in Nine" was created prior to 9-11, I think that
it has served as a focal point for some of my free floating anxiety.
The sculpture is in my back yard, and I see it every day. This allows
me the opportunity to reinterpret the sculpture, and the aspect
of meeting in small groups and forming strong cultural bonds with
your social peer group. This natural human phenomenon is similar
to the meetings of the so-called "cells" of the al-Kaida.
This is one of many realizations that I had as I reinterpreted "One
in Nine" after 9-11. Another realization was that life goes
on after horrible events, and the Stitch group is meeting together
and supporting one another through the aftermath of the terrorist
attacks. Currently, they are offering important friendship and support
to a member who is struggling with advanced stages of cancer. After
9-11, my mother and her friends returned to their support group,
Stitch, just as many others in the United States reevaluated the
importance and value of friendships and support networks in their
and "Cacela Velha" are both sculptures that were created
following September 11, 2001. At first, I found it difficult to
return to the act of making sculptures and focused my energy on
creating functional pottery. These two sculptures are definitely
influenced by my own state of mind following 9-11, which included
my acute awareness of the country's collective state of shock. I
will explain a little bit about each sculpture.
is a tribute to the stunning beauty of the wild plum tree that is
growing in an alley in my neighborhood. I walk by this tree at many
different times of day, and in many different seasons. In many ways,
the piece is about the presence and the absence of something beautiful
and transient. Something simple and often overlooked, like to plum
tree in the alley.
Velha" is a small village in southern Portugal along the coast.
In many ways, this sculpture documents the memory that a walk that
I took along the beach starting at Cacela Velha. As a Midwesterner,
this particular walk along a rugged coastline made me profoundly
aware of the beauty and power of our planet. This sculpture is a
tribute to that experience and that specific place.
"Plum" and "Cacela Velha" contain elements of
beauty, but they can also provoke a feeling of fear or horror or
awe, depending on the state of mind of the person who encounters
the work. The same might be said of "One in Nine."
three pieces all originate with my own personal experiences and
direct observations. Once complete, it is my hope that these sculptures
serve as a physical and conceptual links between the reality of
the viewer and their own personal world of imagination, emotions,
all, I am motivated to create meaningful work that resonates on
multiple levels in my own life as well as in the creative psyche
of our contemporary culture.
is true that the psyche of our culture has been drastically altered
by the events of 9-11. I am curious to discover what direction artists
have been taking their work in recent months, and I am curious about
our culture's response to new work.