original Les Femmes Folles drawing by Wanda Ewing, for the exhibit at RNG Gallery, 2011
Update: see obituary here ; all proceeds from Les Femmes Folles books (20% off with code BLURBGIFT-1; proceeds the same with discount) and products (make sure your filter is OFF to see the calendar she is featured in; 40% OFF; and LFF tees she designed 20% off; proceeds the same with discount code ITSWONDERFUL) from December (and thereafter a portion of proceeds) will go to University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Wanda Ewing Scholarship Fund (of course you, too, can donate straight there: To make a donation, please visit the University of Nebraska Foundation’s website (https://nufoundation.org/) and enter “Wanda Ewing Memorial Scholarship” in the search field for giving to a specific fund— this will take you to a page where you will be able to contribute.
Everyone has a Wanda story; the lucky ones, anyway.
As you may or may not know, Omaha-based artist Wanda Ewing passed December 8 at age 43. Among many, many things to many people, organizations and others, Wanda was the inspiration behind Les Femmes Folles; the original la folle.
Some people have asked, who is Wanda? Can you tell me about her work? Yes, I will and continue to do my best to. Also definitely see her work on her website wandaewing.com and the write-up on printeresting; and her show at RNG Gallery in Council Bluffs now. She made daring artwork, pushing the boundaries of femininity and the definition of beauty, all the while exploring with different media, collaborators and stretching her own abilities, her work ever-evolving. She won awards, residencies, exhibited internationally, is written about by scholars around the nation, was a well-respected professor, artist, friend, mentor and community engager.
To me, she is Wanda the art heroine. This is my Wanda story.
I met her one day, me a quiet, shy, insecure volunteer at the Bemis Center, when she was working as residency coordinator, about a decade ago. I don’t remember if we shook hands, but I remember feeling her aura, her strength, instantly, and thinking, “I want to be like her.” Not many people have this way, impacting simply by existing.
I found her again at Hot Shops in her little studio and she introduced me to her pin-up work. How could anyone not fall in love with these playful powerful prints of women flaunting proudly? I bought a little magnet, that is/was my first “real” art purchase, treasured, powerful beyond. As she; she consistantly spoke with me, I felt, as a person, an equal—not as a ditzy blonde (a role I have played aplenty), but as an able-minded woman. This way was something everyone should experience and gleam from, a given chance, sight unseen, a real soul.
Upon this, I enrolled in a private drawing class at UNO with her to per chance reap awareness she would bring me and what in the world I should do with myself. Students of hers will attest that she had a way of bringing about yourself and keeping in real, without losing the love. She had curious perspective, artists to exemplify, and great music.
"Bluebell," The Great Garden series, painting
I started writing for local publications and interviewed and reviewed her when I could. She continuously had something exemplary to say, and people were always eager to listen.
"Through my work, I learn more about people, the world I live in and, ultimately, myself." (2005)
“You’ve got to develop the skill of when to listen and when not to.” (2011)
Advice for young women artists: “Leave. It gives you a new perspective and you can discover great things, or find what you need back home with new eyes.“ (2011)
“You be you.” (personal conversation where I was ranting about some critic) (2010)
“That glass ceiling was installed with perma-sealant!” (2011)
"People may not know the quality of shows that go on at the UNO gallery…They really should stop by, as they are missing out on some really fantastic shows right on campus." (2006)
"Video Grrrlzzz 2," drawing
I also had the opportunity to be on the other end of her palette, as a model for her drawing classes. Admittedly, I think she was the toughest, but also one of the most enjoyable and attentive professors to model for. She took it upon herself to make a “model’s nook,” with floral curtain, fluffy pillows and chair for us to change respectably in. She introduced me to the class, told them of my artwork, encouraged them to look me up. Here I was literally on display as an object, and she saw me for me, a woman doing something.
Of course, she repeatedly inquired of my comfort, though pushed the limits of my posing and no doubt the student’s tenacity as well! I remember one awkward pose, overhearing a student ask “How am I supposed to draw that weird area in her belly?” Wanda: “the body just gets crazy! You gotta just draw it like you see it.”
True to form, her work that I knew, she created it like she saw it. It at all times ignites a space. Beloved stunning pin-up girls, tongue-in-cheek Bougie magazine covers, subtle Black Catalogue, the dresses, the wigs, Video Grrlllz…. Her warmth exudes in her last exhibited series, the latch-hooks, not without her punch.
"3 Figures," latch-hook
No matter how crazy I thought my drawings or ideas were, whenever I shared with her, she saw validity and potential. True to this, was my Lit Undressed series, a wild nude reading project I put together with help of others (you know who you all are!), she one of the exhibiting artists in the first show, as well as the body-painter. “Would you feel comfortable painting on me and some other nude models?” I queried. “I have never been so close to a model! But I’m loving this new canvas.” We of course, had such a blast, as others involved will nod, laugh and recall.
For the second Lit Undressed visual show inspired by the women of the beat generation, I knew she could curate with feminine intention without it being overlooked for this very quality. And, the show (Wanda titled “Les Femmes Folles” (The Wild Women, French to “add exotic flair” she said) was amazing—Leslie Diuguid, Ewing, Rebecca Herskovitz, Jamie Lamaster and Lauren van Wyke’s art blew me away, and all in one gallery (RNG)! I was in awe that there were other women using the body in their work and doing it somehow simultaneously with strength and grace. I wanted to know more about them, see more about them— I asked Wanda what she thought of having a blog to feature solely women artists, and was encouraged to do it! Wanda being right there, “of course use my exhibit title, the drawing I made for the show, anything, just do it!”
Wanda at Peerless, July 2011 for the LFF exhibit with Kim Reid Kuhn
That was 2011; since, she was there for panels, to curate more exhibits, events, books and writing, to help me with my own artwork and shows and career, through nay-sayers including myself.
Wanda (center) at another LFF panel on feminism, Joslyn Art Museum, 2012
The last time I got to hang with her, I asked her, “Were you always so confident, so able to speak and carry yourself with such grace and poise?” To me, this woman was since birth a woman to be reckoned with, but, she answered in her utter honesty, “No. One day, I just decided, you know what? I’m going to be me. No more apologies.”
That’s what she gave me, us—courage, hope, unending support, love, and a new way of seeing, especially the female spirit. Hers will never be lost. Her spirit will always be in Les Femmes Folles and the artwork I do. I will try to walk as she did, with strength, and do my work, as she would want me to, fearlessly.
I share this as a tiny tribute to her and what she meant to me, one of the many people she touched with herself and amazing work.
If you’d like to share something about the first time you saw one of Wanda’s artworks or shows, or what her work means to you, I’d love to post it.
I thank her forever for letting me be one of the lucky ones who was fortunate to know her, and have her support. I, Omaha, the world! is so fortunate to have known her—and continue to get to know her, through her work.
I can’t seem to finish this post!! Because it will never be done. Her work, my work (and others) to tell her story through knowing her and her work, and other fierce females, will keep her flame lit pushing boundaries, challenging status quo, doing what we do, and encouraging more of it. She’s the voice in my head telling me to go for it. Let’s do it.
Be on the lookout for an honorary exhibit at RNG Gallery in Council Bluffs this or next month. Dixiequicks.com
Wanda (far right) with: fashion designer Olajide Kotero; spoken work artist Withlove, Felicia; rapper YShall Tarlon; playwright Beaufield Berry; at an LFF panel on women in the arts, Omaha Public Library, March, 2013.
Wanda and I at Les Femmes Folles: VOICE exhibit, at The New BLK, 2012
Upon hearing the news, my daughter asked why I was so sad, and I told her: “My friend, Wanda, the artist, went to heaven,” and she said, “well, they have paint in heaven, right?”
You bet. We’ll see her around.
photo by James Clark Farmer
Rachel Farmer just closed her exhibit, Ancestors, at AIR Gallery in Brooklyn and is exhibiting this Friday in 40th Anniversary Lesbian Herstory Archives Art Benefit at Johannes Vogt Gallery in New York. She generously shares with LFF about growing up in Utah, serendipitously getting into a sculpture class and having a stellar professor, how her Mormon ancestry plays a role in her work and more…
Background/how’d you get into art?
I was the kid in the family who was always drawing. Growing up in Provo, Utah, there wasn’t much art around, but, thanks to my parents, we had a small collection of art books that I could pore over. And our family made yearly pilgrimages to visit grandparents in Los Angeles where we would visit all the art and science museums (the Degas collection at the Norton Simon Museum was my heaven).
I had no art instruction in elementary school, and not very good art instruction in middle and high school. I stayed in Provo and enrolled at Brigham Young University as an art major, but fully expected to switch to history or sociology. By the beginning of my junior year I was still straddling the fence about majors (while having racked up hours worth of art credits). I was incredibly excited to finally take an advanced level painting class, but the first day I had a horrible experience with the professor and needed out. The only class I could transfer into was an advanced level sculpture course, which I NEVER would’ve taken.
photo by David B. Smith
But I serendipitously ended up in a class with an amazing artist/professor and many top art students. We spent as much time reading and debating ideas as we did making. For the first time, I no longer made art just to fulfill the requirements of the class. I would go to the sculpture studio and push myself – working for hours every evening. I had just started using clay and was trying to understand what it could do and how I could use it to work through these ideas we’d been debating. All of my sculptures looked pretty horrible at that point, but I was on fire, and my teacher and peers recognized this and supported me through the necessarily awkward process of becoming an artist. I worked non-stop for the next two years (with the amazing support of a small group of folks) and was accepted into the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
My artistic life since grad school has not been linear. It is too long of a story to share here, but for various reasons (including some physical injuries) I did not make a lot of art for several years. During that time I had adventures playing music, building an art teaching career and working concurrently in the doc film world – eventually serving as the Senior Associate Producer on a feature-length documentary film, Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution. For quite some time I thought documentary film would be my new creative pursuit. But finally it became abundantly clear that visual art is the love of my life, so I’ve now been back at it solidly for the past four years. In many ways it feels like I lost a lot of time, but, honestly, I wouldn’t have made this body of work if it wasn’t for all of my other experiences.
photo by David B. Smith
Does feminism play a role in your work?
Absolutely. When you look at art of the American West, it is sadly lacking imagery of women, in addition to lacking imagery of anyone other than the great white frontiersman or cowboy. When pioneer women are depicted, they are usually holding a baby or holding the hand of a young boy (a mother to these men).
I’ve been reading compilations of Mormon pioneer diaries (along with other western histories) – trying to wade through the mythologies and begin to understand what life was like for frontierswomen (including my great-great grandmothers). Part of my motivation is to better understand where I come from and how my worldview has been shaped by these stories. I’m also fascinated by the intersections between my Mormon pioneer ancestors, searching for a safe place to openly live their religion, and my queer ancestors, searching for safe spaces to openly love.
photo by David B. Smith
Here is my current artist’s statement that perhaps better sums it up:
I am captivated by stories of my ancestors—both my Mormon pioneer ancestors and my pioneering queer ancestors. I often try to collapse the two, creating a new ancestry. I’m interested in what we inherit, everything from cultural biases to mannerisms to tacky memorabilia. I see these pioneer figurines as ghosts (sometimes welcome, sometimes not) who inhabit my world, but ghosts I can pick up and play with.
For more information about my solo exhibition, Ancestors, at A.I.R. Gallery, here is a link to the press release: http://www.airgallery.org/images/Farmer_PR_Final.pdf
For more personal information about my art and background, here is a link to the guest blog post I wrote for Feminist Mormon Housewives:
photo by David B. Smith
Advice for aspiring artists?
It is easy to feel overwhelmed. There is always too much to do and there will forever be opportunities missed (amidst plenty of rejections). But new opportunities are always around the corner. And there is no place of arrival anyway – being an artist is an ongoing back and forth between thinking and making and showing and then back to thinking and making. So I try to keep in mind that while it is good to stay organized and put in the work, it is important to take moments to enjoy the process of wondering, making, tearing it apart, starting over again, more wondering, more creating, etc.
For more info about the artist please visit - http://rachelfarmer.com/
On the 40th Anniversary Lesbian Archives Exhibit: lesbianherstoryarchives.org/artbenefit2013/
photo by David B. Smith
Dong Hee Lee is exhibiting in AIR Gallery's Generations: The Red/Pink Show opening tomorrow, December 5, 2013, running thru Jan. 4, 2014. She shares with LFF about her artistic process and using abstract patters and forms to evoke the drama and beauty of our invisible origins, her piece in the AIR show and more…
Background/where are you from?
I was born in Seoul, Korea in 1978 and have lived in New York since 2006. I got my B.F.A. and M.F.A Degree from Long Island University in 2012.
How did you get into art?
When I was a child, I was drawing everyday, everywhere, and I am still doing it.
Creating art is my passion. I believe that everything in life is destined by fate.
Tell me about your work, style, and inspirations.
Life comes into existence through competition for survival. My work uses abstract patterns and forms to evoke the drama and beauty of our invisible origins. The human egg is the only perfectly spherical cell in the human body – a glowing, radiating organism. This image is symbolized in my work as a web of interconnected circles, each circle carefully formed by molten glue and “drawn” using a glue gun. The synthetic glue material is shiny and pliant, like a membrane. I create hundreds of these small, extruded circles in a process of accumulation that suggests gestation and the multiplication of cells. The combination of small repeating units becomes large complex forms, either sculptural objects or patterns on canvas.
I choose symbols of the creation of life because this represents generative power and the mysteries of our physical and spiritual realities. My art is about transformation and the infinity within us.
Dong Hee Lee’s work in Hillwood Museum, 2011
Does feminism play a role in your work?
Being a female artist is very tough, but it does not influence my work.
My work represents masculine and feminine reproductive cells, which are opposites and complement each other and the transparent material represents the possibilities of the future, the life that is about to emerge from the union of the male and female.
What do you hope people get out of your work?
Recently, I have come to understand that to create and display more pictures of suffering and rage did not make them real for the viewer, but rather contributed to the alienation and darkness I wanted to reveal. Now I am more interested in portraying the infinite potential of the beginning of life, a time and space before the restrictions, boundaries and pressures of society determine who we are. I want to create artwork that evokes life before identity, the open future that exists before one enters the world.
Dong Hee Lee, “Productivity,” Hot glue, 14 x 14 inc
Tell me about this piece in the Generations exhibit and what it means to you.
The pink and red theme was reminiscent of strong women. I tried representing productivity of women. My mom is a single mom and she has three daughters. I am the middle child. When I was child, she was always working and very strong. I thought all women were strong as my mom. Now I understand she needs to be a strong woman. The artwork could be about my mom.
What’s next/anything to add? What would people be surprised to know about you?
I still wish to show the respect of life by expressing the marvel of conception and cellular development of the fetus.
"Near Dusk," oil on wood, 2013, Ann Sgarlata
Ann Sgarlata opens her exhibit, Ephermeral, alongside artists Liz Biddle and Nancy Lasar this Thursday, December 5, at AIR Gallery in Brooklyn (thru Jan. 4). She shares with LFF about getting into art via paint by numbers, finding her medium and artistic message, feminism’s limitations, lifesized mutants and more…
How did you get into art?
My family moved from Harlem to Brooklyn when I was around 6 or so. I went to a Catholic school from kindergarten through high school. I remember as a young child that there was a kid’s drawing show on TV where you could follow along on theTV. I guess my folks realized I liked art and bought me some of those “paint by numbers” art kits. I loved the smell of oil paint!! Art instruction in school was mostly holiday or religious art. I think I’ve been influenced by religious art based on my Catholic upbringing. In high school I went to a museum (Met) for the first time and saw Van Gogh’s “Starry, Starry Night.” I loved that painting and thought at the time that it was huge…later in life I saw that it wasn’t as big as I remembered. I bought a book of Van Gogh’s art at the museum and copied drawings and then paintings over and over. I joined the Art Club. So that was basically my art instruction through high school. I also won art awards, doing religious art for Christmas on school windows, and a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Award for a charcoal portrait. I still have that little pin.
These early memories of childhood and how I felt whenever I did art was probably more important to formulating my own self expression and love of art than studying art in college. I graduated from Purchase College where each discipline was studied intensively, for example: a drawing class was scheduled for two sessions in one day, morning and afternoon a total of 6 hours per day. College gives you a foundation and one should just take all the classes and explore as many mediums as they can. A style, or what you do in your art, comes after that. There was always “art stars” at college, and although I admired their skill, I’m glad I had time after to develop my own ideas in my own time. I examined different mediums to realize what I “wanted to say.” That was always important for me.
Does feminism play a role in my work?
I would have to say no as I’ve never thought of myself as a “woman artist,” but an artist. I was very aware when I started out that women were very under-represented in galleries and museums. I was there for women pursuing the Equal Rights Amendment in the 80’s and 90’s. I was supportive of the Guerrilla Girls as a radical means to bring attention to the lack of women in art, but I stop short of the idea of labeling myself a “woman artist.” I wanted to be part of the scene as an artist…I felt there were limitations to the movement as a whole.
Tell me about this A.I.R. Exhibit and why its important to you.
I was recommended to show at A.I.R. through one of their members this past summer. I think there was an opportunity and so I applied. I am showing 13 landscapes. I call these landscapes “mindscapes;” they focus on the horizon line separating sky from earth. Some of the new titles are: “Storm is Coming,” “Last Light,” “Rain,” “After the Rain.” Some have compared me to George Inness and Ryder. (Above is one of the landscapes, “Near Dusk.”)
The show is an opportunity to show my work in a good gallery that has survived over 40 years. I’m hopeful that I will sell some pieces and maybe get another gallery to offer me a show.
What do you hope viewers get out of your work?
I hope viewers examine the work carefully and spend some time looking at all the changes in value/somber colors with bursts of light. I use the medium Liquin which provides a radiant glow making each color applied transparent. They are somber in tone, perhaps calling attention to the time in which we live.
As you may notice from my website, if I had an idea I would find the medium to execute. That’s what lead me to welding, photography, mixed media. That was always important to me.
I’ll probably continue with landscapes for now perhaps working larger. I originally had an idea to work with a sculptor to incorporate metal frames with the work. There wasn’t time to execute this idea because of the time limit, but it’s something I’m looking to do with the next set of mindscapes.
What would people be surprised to know about me?
I think they’d be surprised to learn I was a welder and produced those life-size mutants.
Favorite contemporary artitsts/in history?
For contemporary artists, I would choose (in no special order): Mary Frank, Brice Marden, Eva Hesse, Francesco Clemente, Cindy Sherman, Wolf Kahn. Those in history: Rothko, Bosche, Fra Angelico, Morandi, Van Gogh, LaTour, Vermeer, Klimt (to name a few…).
Advice for aspiring artists?
I would advise artists starting out to take time to develop their own art, look at contemporary work at galleries, but also look at the riches contained in art history.
photo of the artist by Neil Tetkowski, copyright 2013
Linda Kuehne’s solo exhibition, Suburban Landscapes: The Architecture of Nowhere, opens at AIR Gallery in Brooklyn December 5 (thru Jan. 4, details airgallery.org). She generously shares with LFF about what art and feminism means to her, how she came about photographing the American landscapes and abandoned buildings, her new interest in architecture and more…
Background/are you from NY? How did you get into art?
Originally from CT but have lived in NY ever since I graduated from college. Went to Sarah Lawrence in Bronxville, NY. Always been creative, drawing as a child, taking photographs, then wanted to write and be a journalist. Had my own darkroom in my basement where I developed black and white photographs. Now, of course, it’s all on the computer. Have written for several magazines, primarily reviews of other artists’ work. But my main passion is photography right now, have been doing digital for 12 years.
Your statement reads “Inspired by the romantic realism of American landscape painters of the 19th century, American abstract painters of the early 20th century and pop art, my work explores the idea of the sublime as it does or doesn’t exist today, given the state of the world.” Why do you do what you do/art?
I don’t exactly know why I do art, I just know I have to do it. At this point, after being an artist for so many year, I do have a particular voice and ideas to express and I work hard to get the work out in the world by exhibiting as much as possible so I can communicate that vision to others. Art for me is all about seeing reality in a new way—to stimulate the mind and the senses.
Does feminism play a role your work?
Actually, no, I don’t think so. I am a feminist, studied Women’s History in college and totally devoted to the notion that everyone deserves the same opportunities and to be treated equally. But art comes from a very mysterious place in my psyche and I don’t feel it’s a gender specific vision—it’s just my vision. I don’t think looking at my work one could tell whether a woman or a man did it and that’s ok with me. Not that I strive for that, it’s just the kind of art I am producing at this point.
"I’m Tired of War," print by Eddith Buis
Many people around Omaha know Eddith Buis—the artist, the art show organizer, the public artist, educator and general art enthusiast and more. I’m excited to feature her on LFF where she writes about how she got into art, dreams, selling art and about the inspirations behind one of her most recent works, “Super Women” (below)…
I backed into art in search of a viable teaching field when an English degree didn’t seem workable,—How could I grade papers at night with 3 kids to raise? Graduating with a K-12 Certification in Art Ed., I’d majored in art history, not being good enough at any media in studio art.
My first teaching position was in 1974, at a junior high in North Omaha. By 1976, Mann became a 9th Grade Center. We didn’t have a well-conceived curriculum, so I returned to UNO for a master’s degree to write one I’d hoped would raise students’ creative abilities, based on right-hemisphere studies. It was great fun to help these bright and talented kids become good artists, as well as more creative thinkers.
In the late 70’s, I joined the Associated Artists, and then the Nebraska Women’s Caucus for Art, and began to be serious about my own work…Using people-based drawings, I focused on commentary based on women’s experiences, as we have so long not been heard…or understood. It felt perhaps more palatable to use humor and irony to make statements. I use the medium most conducive to the message, whether in paint, print or sculpture.
I’ve kept dream journals for many years, and often use them in my art. My main goal is for my work to have content, or meaning. Want to say something about the human condition…and often, it’s a feminist slant. I’m old enough to have fought to have any say in my life, and have an “edge” of anger over those experiences, which usually results in humor or sarcasm.
Since I have a retirement income, I can follow my thematic interest and not worry about actually selling what I create.
ARTISTS CREATING A BETTER AMERICA! (painting above)
Here we are, artists all— bursting into Omaha. We SUPER-WOMEN are the new-and-improved Captain America, ready to deliver the dream of change and hope, into the hearts of all the people!
Armed with poetry, prose and paint, we’ll take on the multi- millionaire congressmen protecting the rich and Big Oil, the evil Koch Brothers, and those who refuse to honor our nation’s power in DIVERSITY. We’ll re-create an America that will educate ALL the children and protect our vast and sustaining landscape.
We’ll save the pristine waters of the Ogallala Aquifer from toxic sludge, and wave our wands to tax the top 5%, so FAIRNESS can rejoin the lexicon of our land. We’ll teach the people about eating REALfood, and re-light the torch of hope that our workers can find a living wage.
We’ll call on banks and Wall Street to stop their irresponsible greed and enforce antimonopoly laws. We’ll lift the blinders from the self-satisfied and shine the light on what we CAN be, working together.
And how can wise and witty women artists lead when our leaders cannot? We have imaginations for new answers to CREATE a better America…and are already on our way!
Open your hearts and minds and join us…capes are optional.
Artists, left to right: Pam Hinson, sculptor, Katie F-S, poet, Rita Paskowitz, story-teller, Jennie Mason, fashion design, Rachel Jacobson, Film Streams, Bonnie O’Connell, UNO fine arts, Fairouz Bishara, OPS art teacher, Jane Round, fashion design, Jill Anderson, equity actress, singer, Susan Clement-Toberer, Blue Barn Director, and Anne Trumble, Emerging Terrains
As a 39-year veteran of teaching with Omaha Public Schools and Metropolitan Community College, Eddith Buis holds a B.S, an M.A. and a Specialist Degree in art education, and is currently an artist for the Nebraska Arts Council.
Buis is best known for directing public art projects for the Omaha Metro area, including the J. Doe Project, the Lewis & Clark Icon Project for the Riverfront, 5 years of summer sculpture installations at Leahy Mall, the MAT bus benches for Benchmarks, Bike Blast for children’s bicycle painting along with artist-designed bike racks for the city, exhibits at Fontenelle Forest, Lauritzen Gardens, and for the Nebraska Women’s Caucus for Art.
Besides caring for her unusual landscape & contemporized coach house, Buis is supplanting years of thinking and writing about art curriculum with thoughts on the human condition, with on-going salon discussions and film attendance with friends, writing, and the creation of relevant visual works.
How I see this work:
My sculpture, paintings and installations spring from my experience as a woman and mother. Usually the pieces, which I create, are in the media of translucent fabric or cast silicone. I gravitate towards those materials which imply a certain vulnerability and which are difficult to control. The work springs from the subconscious, revealing itself to me slowly. Part of the excitement of making art is the “not knowing”, the feeling of being open to new encounters. The media follows the intuitive message.
More specifically, my current work in cast silicone begins as I carve wood sculpture, from which I make a mold. The final silicone castings contain small objects from our everyday life, which float about in the interior. On the exterior of the solid casting, I paint or draw ancient symbols, linking the commonalities between peoples of all time.
In the same media, but in a slightly different direction, I compose visual histories using artifacts, which carry their own mysterious stories and written documents separately obtained but related in some way. All are open to interpretation, but imply universal archives. These pieces can also be specifically archival, being commissioned by individuals or by groups or corporations.
I also make organically shaped sculptures from reed and paper or from reed and fabric. Light is an important aspect in these pieces, which can take the shape of vessels or ships or unknown objects. These are often combined with whispered sounds.
Periodically, I enjoy going back to making colorful abstract acrylic paintings on unstretched canvas. They are more playful in nature, but I think that the painting feeds the other media in a sort of rhythm. The paintings have many layers of texture and of paint, which emerge and recede. They reveal a history of their own, referring to a universal symbolic language.
In celebrating the identity of individuals, I have been etching mirrors with words. The person who has commissioned the work provides the words. The mirror reflects the face of the individual as a visual and as a superimposed written image. As other people gaze into the mirror, they question their own identity by comparison.
To sum up the direction of my work: I want to create work, which is intensely personal, in the hope of coming close to the truth in myself and in others. It is the work of a dreamer, but one of a dreamer rooted in the world.