Historical Consciousness

My sculptures are inspired by historical events, even more so by the people that history has forgotten.  All history is construction, a story created to explain a given set of facts, and my sculptures are no different- they are personal interpretations, as much about me as the overt events depicted. The Victorian era has been recorded as the story of heroes – men pushing back jungles, conquering new lands, a sun that never set.  Yet who reveres the fading strength of the failed polar explorer still proud to die for Britain, or the universal soldiers who marched into battle in his unique, ornate costume? Through creating sculptures I hoped, however briefly, to bring these lost figures to life, to have them step out of the photographs, lithographs and letters that comprise their only record and let them reemerge in three dimensions.My subjects are often tragedies or pointless atrocities, but also contain the humor inherent in human frailty.

 

My ceramic sculptures are small, like the lives they represent, almost the opposite of the heroic. They are also the exact size of the action figures I played with as a child, creating stories and imagining who I would become.  Lying on the floor, manipulating the figures, I could enter their world, and they became the characters of my fantasies. Like their childhood counterparts, the sculptures, my “inaction figures” have entered the domain of dreams, a place far distant from their origins.  In this world of childhood imaginings, animals receive equal consideration as humans.  The sculptures are my attempt to find the universal emotions hidden inside the particular.  The figures, while representational, are figurative; their lack of color point to their fading into obscurity.  I see myself as a visual storyteller, part of a long tradition of narrative sculpture.