I am inspired by using a variety of media to express statements about the rhythms and cycles of living. The creative nature of the universe excites me and I filter this through my lens of female experience.
I grew up in the Midwest and after graduating with a BFA, worked as a graphic designer for fifteen years. My most enduring project from that time has been the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum room “The History of Rockets and Space Craft,” for which I designed the wall graphics.
After I moved to California, I became interested in the meditative world, how meditation unlocks visualization, and how that in turn unlocks female power. When my husband and I wanted to start a family, I helped found and run a freestanding birth center in San Rafael, California, and taught meditation techniques to pregnant moms to open their sense of feminine power in labor. This profound experience still influences my art today and can be seen in the many vessel and purse shapes that I use.
When my youngest child entered kindergarten, I returned to fine art full time. After the violence of 9/11, I felt the need to add clay back into my mix of media, healing myself by literally sticking my hands into the earth. Since that time, I have concentrated on working in combinations of clay, fiber and mixed media.
My ceramic “Purse Series,” was inspired in part by a recent newspaper article featuring a $30,000 crocodile bag. I began to wonder, “In this economic climate, who buys a bag like that? Does she use her endangered species credit card to purchase it?” As I looked at the women around me, I realized that it isn’t unusual for even high school girls to have collections of $500 designer bags.
Historically, the first purses, dating back to the Babylonian era, were generally used in religious ceremonies. Some say today’s purses still hold holy significance for women. As I’ve been creating this body of work, I’ve been surprised how many women offer to show me a special purse they haven’t had out for years, yet still cherish. Each purse becomes a dear remembrance of a time or place, a signpost on the owner’s creative journey as a female.
What does the purse, sacred to so many women, say about her owner? Is she a romantic? Is she strictly utilitarian? Is she nostalgic for an era gone by? Is she loyal to a fault? Is she carrying an unedited lifetime of stuff with which she can’t seem to part? Can she laugh at herself?”
I prefer to work in series; this idea of the purse as sacred vessel has allowed me to explore fertile territory concerning concept, building techniques and finishes.
Falkirk Cultural Center
Journeys: Chronicles in Clay
1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901
June 15 - August 18
Opening Reception - June 15, 5:30 - 7:30pm
National League of American Pen Women / Golden Gate Branch
Nurturing the Creative Spark
Marin Society of Artists Upper Gallery
30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross, CA 94957
June 10 - 30
4125 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
June 2 - 29
Slice: a Juried Cross-Section of Regional Art
212 D Street, Davis, CA 95616
June 8 - July 5
Reception – June 8, 6 - 9pm
Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
June 19 - August 17
Reception – June 30, 2 - 4pm
California Fine Art Exhibition
CalExpo, 1600 Exposition Drive, Sacramento, CA 95815
July 12 - 29