Totem: Reality Overload

The Grecian-style, plaster pedestal has collage imagery affixed to the top surface, partially hidden by sand and saw dust, cactus, and the section of log. At the base of the pedestal is sand and dried bones - simultaneously suggesting life, death and history. The saw represents the variety of things in society producing change - building up and/or taking down. On the whole, we humans aren’t all that comfortable with change. 

Life can be hard and we struggle with the weight of life’s challenges on our shoulders, or in this case, our heads! 

If you are alive, no one escapes this condition, although some have it more than others. It is a balancing act to deal with the unexpected intrusions that interrupt our best laid plans, without falling or dropping the ball of responsibilities. If I could choose a life that was perfect, with all my desires answered and in place, I wouldn’t; for life wouldn’t teach me anything. 

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Mixed materials. Approximately 6ft H x 2ft W.

It is an endless source of fascination to me to step back from what I’ve created and look to the combination of imagery that has come together to create a composition whose whole is more than the sum of its parts. As an artist it is a real challenge to take the diversity of material and suggested meaning in each individual part and make it ‘work’ to one’s satisfaction. 

Symbolically, some of these parts are connected to the South West - memories of my experiences in the Sonoran Desert, hence the variety of cacti, sand, the cross from the mission church, and dried bones that appear (see detail below). 

Memory into art is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose, but it is even more than that. For, creating art like this, is what I tell myself what I know, but didn’t know I knew about these experiences - their meanings. 

Shapes and surfaces made of brick, stone, twigs, ceramic, plaster, photo collage - there are a multiplicity of materials and images. Besides dealing with the “story” of the art work, for a sculptor the challenge is how to inter-connect these so they will physically stack and stay put, but come apart for moving or shipping. A sculptor is not only an artist, but a “seat-of-the-pants engineer.