My connection to earth has always felt very deep and direct. It is at my center. It has shaped my sensibility as a sculptor. This earth, sensed in the scale and mass of land form, or in the heavy-handedness of natural force. Earth, the physical, tactile arena, dictating experiences of bodily contact. Or the consumptive power of earth, observed within natural process, and perceived in the swallowing infinity of vast open spaces.
Earth, too, the substance, soil and that which is soil-like. The presence of “soil”, in various guises, is a recurrent feature of my work. In this exhibition, however, the works offer no real use of soil as medium, relying instead upon metaphor, object, and implication. As such, “soil-less” describes a body of sculptural works which collectively share in a state of inherent self-contradiction.
Much of the work here is intrinsically bound to some phase of the Garden idea. In certain pieces, “garden” serves as metaphor for specific living narratives which center around domestic issue. The objects and arrangements intend to speak as circumstantial agents, evidencing some larger scheme at work. In the other works, the idea of garden extends to the broader field of exterior public space. In both scenarios, the plant and floral elements reference the power of growth, overgrowth, and consumption when left to its own device.
These pieces of the self are often compelling for their sheer visual power, and for what they reveal of their human narrative. I am especially drawn to the imprint of the I that remains in such articles, even if invisible to the eye. Most recently I’ve found interest in the “soiling” effect that occurs in the residual transfer from the surface to object, and vice-versa.
For me, the spaces of earth include brick walls and columns, especially those possessed of age, condition, and their own history. The bricks within bear a certain earthen quality. From the crevice of one such wall, a seemingly soil-less space, grew a single plant form. It was simple discovery that inspired the exhibition title, Soil-Less