In observing “what is essential is invisible to the eye,” The Little Prince in Saint-Exupery’s story reminds us of our limited perception. What we’re seeing is only part of the story and can even be illusory – camouflaging or misdirecting our attention away from some of the more subtle and important aspects of what we are observing.
This evanescent quality of observation has been a lifelong curiosity for me. As a teenager, I was interested in magic, with its two realities: what observers see and what is really going on. As a sculptor, although less involved with deceit, I’m often dealing with some of the same issues. What’s underneath or behind the plane that is most visible, suggests that something important lurks "behind the curtain."
My work employs novel methods of folding, casting and forming materials including metal and glass. Wall pieces often incorporate hidden surfaces or only partially exposed elements and that may defy easy comprehension. The forms seem simple: perhaps just a knot. But their apparent simplicity belies an underlying attempt to expose the fallacy of understanding what is real. In sculpture, this is immediately apparent in the sense that we are only seeing one view at a time, the experience changing as we view a work from different positions. But there are also the reflections, shadows, negative space, and in the case of layered planes, the interior spaces that are easy to miss and require time for them to reveal their secrets. Beyond the literal gaps in perception, there are metaphoric issues at play. The fact that our perceptions of reality are limited and arguably missing much of the good stuff, underscores a central challenge in my work – changing the way we experience reality without completely abandoning it.