"Finding Balance" Series
The “Finding Balance” series grew from my struggle to find balance in my own life. The ability of others to work within themselves as well as with partners, groups and communities to find a healthy, workable equilibrium interests me. Finding balance in life is an ever changing and often-elusive quest as we are filled with personal desires, hopes, dreams, and goals that may or may not be aligned with people or events we experience. Striving for a life lived in harmony with others while honoring our own agenda is a lifelong journey.
Exercise, dance and yoga have always been a part of my life. I am drawn to the amazing abilities of the body. For me, the idea of finding equilibrium in life found a natural parallel in the balance needed for the physical demands of these pursuits.
As each person’s life progresses, these influences and experiences create his/her unique life story. Individual stories may intersect briefly, may intersect for a lifetime or may not intersect at all, but they are always one-of-a-kind. A mutual experience is affected by an individual’s soul or personality creating a distinctive personal story.
People, with their unique souls and stories, fascinate me and provide inspiration for my work. I may imagine a story for one of my figures as she is created. However, I am more interested in the story the viewer creates, because it is based on his/her unique perceptions and experiences.
Adding to the allure of working with the human form is the impact that gesture has on a viewer’s perception. The slightest tilt of the head, drop of the shoulder, angle of the hand, or position of a hip may create different implications for different viewers.
My figures are sculpted in clay with an emphasis on gesture and texture. I often incorporate natural objects within the texture or as an addition to the figure. Metal is employed in parts of the composition to enhance the design or aid in construction. Hives, bees, nests, dragonflies and ants have all been used with my figures to enhance content for the viewer’s perceived story.
I also have an intense curiosity and a sense of awe about the natural world and our human response to it. Throughout human history, cultures have used animals and their instinctive behaviors as symbols of human traits or characteristics. For instance, the lion is fierce but also maternal, the turtle is persistent and methodical, and the ant is busy and industrious.
I create sculptures combining a variety of animal body parts. I choose the mix of animals after defining a set of someone’s characteristics. I research the combination of animals with their symbols and traits, which provide the best match to the person in question. I then sculpt an animal “portrait.” For instance, I represented my husband as a beaver signifying a builder, an engineer and his industriousness; a turtle signifying his stamina, focus, longevity, strength, persistence, and wisdom; and a wolverine signifying his aggression, ferocity, tenacity and toughness.