Marian Cycle statement
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
In 2007-2008 I discovered Sienese paintings from the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. The iconography and symbolism was familiar, certainly because of my Catholic upbringing, but also because in the arches, gardens, labial shapes, towers, ladders etc., I saw the images and symbols I had been obsessively drawing and painting for years. The work relating to these female shapes and images are part of the Marian cycle. Recent pieces on board, using copper, paper mache and oils, involve simplifying the imagery even further to "embody" it, in other words, make it more substantial and corporeal by making it three dimensional. I used folded and pounded copper and crushed cans, created arches of paper mache, and attached objects with nails. The subject matter is symbolic and spiritual but the underlying goal is to marry the sacred and profane, to remind the viewer that when western religion created that duality they rebuked the generative creative force embodied in the great Feminine. They made sex, pregnancy and lactation obscene, but in reality these are essential natural creative acts, full of beauty and terror, awe and deep satisfaction. I am fascinated by the duality and opposition inherent in our thinking about the sacred and about Nature. The drive to balance duality is the basis for much of my work - striving to find that place of balance where opposites co-exist.