Each series starts with an experience, often a memory. Making the work infuses the past with the present; the story changes each time it is rendered. The genesis for this series Fragments was moving back to the community where I grew up to help care for my father who has a progressively worsening dementia. At this point, the stories he can hold on to are those that he’s committed to paper, written in earlier years. My father no longer has the words or symbols to recast his memories into meaning for the present or future. Now any joy is immediate—watching the moon rise over the mountains, a bright red bird flitting, a child playing—and the loss, so enduring. It’s hard to hold these two things at once. In my studio, I arrange and rearrange my own symbols, the ceramic forms that make up my assemblages, searching for coherence or at least meaning. I will keep with this series, hoping that the process will temper the grief, and perhaps one day I will be able to rewrite these memories of loss into something bigger.
Works have built-in hardware that allow them to float an inch off the wall. Brightly painted backings reflect off the wall from which the pieces are hung, hinting to an ethereal illumination from within.
Photo credits: Geistlight Photography