Artist Statements

Highlights | Themes | Series | Antarctica | Images | Voice

Oriens

Elemental

1994

The Elemental series is conceived as a set of interlocking, ongoing series based on six elements drawn from the natural world — Dreaming in Stone, Waterways, Aerial Boundaries, Fire Within, Songs from Wood and Animalia.

Thematically, the Elemental Series focuses on nature and how man relates to it. The work is less about how we use and live in the natural world than it is about how we look at it. In looking, we make assessments, then statements and later judgments. We define ourselves in relation to how we define other things, specifically the natural world. We want answers; but while some are forthcoming, very often they shift over time as we come in contact with information we were previously unaware of. Faced with this, one draws the conclusion that the struggle of inquiry is more important than the answers it yields — for it is the asking and the way in which we ask that defines us. Engaging this activity, we enter a dynamic dialog that has been carried on throughout the millennia and has spawned many traditions. These images then are the residue of my inquiries.

As I am, it is natural that my work is concerned with the environment. Though I feel it is inevitable that my work will have political and social dimensions, these are not the impetus for it. My intentions are poetic, rather than political. My primary goal is to make images that resonate with meaning and ask questions. It is my hope that in addition to expressing a state of being and a conjunction of ideas, my work invokes a new line of inquiry for the viewer. For me, art does not stop at the surface of an art object but continues into our lives with the resonance it leaves within us and with each of our own unique internal contributions to the course of that energy.

Chaos or order? Intrinsic meaning or projection? Or both? I find myself returning to the idea that it is the dynamic interaction of the two that forms the world we live in and that I am a part of it.

An essay seeks to define and explain; a poem is a simple statement of existence. The difference between the two is the difference between saying “things are this way” and saying “I feel this way about things;” the authenticity of only one of these statements can be called into question.

I focus on the things I love. I focus on the things that fascinate me. When I look out across the surfaces of nature, I wonder if I am seeing the traces of the hand of God, just as I see traces of myself in the surfaces of the things I touch and create?

How lucky I am to be a part of it all.