The body is my muse. In my sculptures, I bring formal elements if the female body forward to allow them to speak of women’s stories, their conflicts and triumphs.
As a second generation artist, my work seems in many ways to be in homage to my mother. Her wispy graphite drawings of the female figure have a profound effect on my sculptural notions of the body. Passed from mother to daughter is the core belief that the body is beautiful. My mother defines the modern creative female, birthing both child and art. Past women’s roles have restricted women to the home and constricted their movement in the art world. Today the tension of balancing traditional and progressive roles molds our bodies, daily concerns, and ultimately our destinies. My sculptures reflect this tension in idealized, symmetrical and perfectly balanced female forms; they are beautiful in their severity. The form itself derives from archaic memory as an extension of prehistoric and African figurines. Through multiple creations with differing materials and slight shifts in scale, they become the embodiment of the archetypal She, the one female character in many roles. Through the exploration of material, patterns arise: processed steel is restrictive as well as structural, wood, petals and other organic matter, is ephemeral, unpredictable, and resistant to conformity, even cast bronze holds the warmth and the unpredictable nature of human flesh that steel will rarely have.
Our first architectural home is Mother. A mobile shelter- structured by bone, held together by tendon and muscle, and insulated by flesh- carries us through an enormous world. Unseen and unseeing, we exist in a completely protected space. Later in life dresses represent this space as a child takes comfort in and under the folds of Mother’s skirt. Abiding in that cloth shelter is perhaps forbidden, but no less desired. Lisa Dwelling materializes this desire. Adapted from the dome-shape of an adobe African Musgum dwelling, the steel rod structure is covered with several hundred fruit petals of a Chinese Parasol Tree. The ochre petals are delicate, seductive spoon shapes that create an evocative pattern, when shingled over the entire form. An arched doorway invites entry. The object is simultaneously dress and house. The form’s very existence is tenuous because of the nature of the petals. Through successive manifestations, this female form establishes a new iconography. For want of a heroine, I create her.