artist statement


For nearly forty years, I have been utilizing gold leaf on the surface of my sculpture for its luminous and symbolic qualities. The forms are manifestations of many years of interest and studies of ancient cultures and non-European philosophies. My focus has been on shapes that represent power and dynamic energy; many of the pieces are derived from cultural objects that are used in healing and tribal/cultural rituals. The titles are words from ancient languages that give each work a name but mask the meaning in the mystery of that language. 

The gold leaf drawings are a series begun in 2003 and represent a direction toward more specific formal concerns of movement and manipulation of reflected light through the interaction of marks and patterns. The mark making is an exercise in focusing and centering similar to the processes of chanting and repetitive prayer.

My newest series of works on paper was begun in 2015 and is based on tile and carved stone patterns that were observed and photographed during my travels to prehistoric, ancient and medieval sites in the Americas, Europe and Asia. I have been utilizing gold leaf on my sculpture and paper pieces since 1982 for its luminous and symbolic qualities, and the black ink marks and grid on the gold, which I have been exploring since 2003, bring the viewer back to the surface but still allow visual access to the inner luminosity of the gold leaf. Each element of the composition is cut before the oil pastel is applied; then, it is re-assembled in a manner similar to the making of stain-glass windows or mosaics. The colors of the oil pastels, based primarily on the ancient Egyptian color pallet, create an additional element in the compositional interaction between the lines, marks and forms.