My sculptures and installations address the relationship between nature and technology; issues of growth and form; the inevitability of decay and, ultimately, mortality.
Working primarily in ceramics and bronze, my pieces emerge from obsessive observation of existing forms, both industrially mass-produced and organic — the latter especially at the micro-scale. Exploring different materials and typologies, my ongoing series A Natural History of Technology explores parallels between the formal evolution of man-made artifacts/spaces/experiences, and morphological developments found in natural species. My background as a critic of architecture and design, from the 1980s through the 2000s, no doubt inflects these inquiries.
In my ceramic sculpture, I focus on issues of balance, precariousness, and gravity — producing highly-controlled coil-built abstractforms that often rely on each other to stand upright, or require custom supports made from other materials (including rubber, rawhide, copper and steel) to do so. Increasingly, I’m interested in the minutiae of surface texture, working the clay (or the wax, in preparation for bronze casting) to reveal my fingermarks, or leave visible the repetitive marks left by a Sur-form grater dragged across heavy-grog clay — resisting the tendency to smother the surface in glaze.
In a more aleatory series of ceramic sculptures, I allow gravity to generate unique gestural objects, by hanging burlap saturated with ‘liquid’ clay, and tensioning the fabric to create billowing volumes; organic matter (such as woven fabric, or pine cones) burns out in the bisque firing, leaving surface patterns that take glaze in interesting and unpredictable ways.
I’m drawn to other ‘wet-to-dry’, ‘liquid-to-solid’ materials — such as plaster, rubber, wax, spun sugar, egg — where the action of the “drip” can be harnessed for expressive purposes.
Each material I work with exhibits characteristic changes under different atmospheric conditions — such as heat, fire, moisture, humidity. Zeroing in on these physical nuances (texture, elasticity, opacity, reflectiveness), I seek tangible metaphors for the delicate shifts in our psychological experience of the world. I think of myself as a Materials Scientist of Emotion.