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Artist Statement

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I began referencing dancing women figures in my pottery in 2002 as an undergraduate art student. A social group gathered on Fridays to celebrate their unique beauty, which was an unexpected discovery for me at the time. I recognized myself as the "other" in this equation, which is rare for a person like me, and I remain grateful for the lessons I learn in a state of vulnerability. My current iterations of these subjects are informed by fashion models who share highly curated images of their bodies to express their pride and promote an idealized beauty. The work also acknowledges artifacts created over scores of millennia, illustrating this universal human interest as far back as we can see. 

 

The subject matter remains precarious for me as I engage discussions about sexist objectification, self-objectification, voyeurism, and fetishism with people who are either uncomfortable with my role in these subjects or appreciate that it's being observed and articulated. In the most literal sense, I'm objectifying women's bodies by transforming the malleable substance of clay into durable stoneware that could survive for millennia. Through the lens of cultural context, I'm interpreting contemporary human phenomena while exploring my curiosity about ideal beauty in an expansive lineage of similar observations. 

 

My Venus Figures shifted in emphasis as the Dobbs decision was announced. Previous iterations also celebrated women's power, but the ones since have stood defiantly. A fist and middle finger are aberrations from traditional depictions of Venus; an apt departure given the threat to women's power.

My first figurative sculptures were meant to inform my pots, but instead they led to new curiosities about the narrative potential of a figure. I began to impose structures onto depictions of infamous political leaders in pieces like “Pundit”. Then,I focused on the image of a male toddler. The implicit vulnerability of a young person evokes empathy and raises cautious questions. The caging elements are evidence of the kinds of structures imposed on a young person, and it’s up to the viewer to decide if that’s good or bad.

The Future Generations Series is an extension of my graduate work, including cityscapes that were small enough to be moved by two people. I wanted the work to feel larger than human on a scale that was manageable, so I used figurative elements to emphasize the proportion of the viewer to the object. The newest pieces in this series have voluminous, male figurative elements. Compared to the smaller figures, these hold an impossible burden.

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