Recently, while hiking in the woods above my home, I noticed a carpet of feathers from a recently-murdered pigeon (I assume) beside a jagged stump from a broken tree. Looked at in isolation, these could be considered objects of violence and chaos. But if you step back and regard them in the context of the whole forest, you can see a natural harmony of which they are simply components. Harmony from chaos is what I’m trying to create in this work: taking the singular elements, shapes and patterns of the west coast landscape, adding sacred symbolic imagery, and reconstructing it to create work that reflects the interconnectedness of all things.
The concept of interconnectedness is central to human philosophies as diverse as Zen Buddhism and environmentalism, and is what I believe to be our most important guiding principle.
Crows and ravens play a major role in my work. I have been observing them, photographing them, feeding them, reading about them and painting them for years. How do they see the world? Do everyday elements create an abstracted, patterned background for them, punctuated by unexpected objects like antlers in the woods or kayaks on the beach? If only I could ask them!
The oldest symbol known to be used in spiritual practices, the spiral is fundamental to nature, appearing on animals such as the snail, seashells, and occurs in natural phenomena such as whirlpools, hurricanes, tornadoes and spinning galaxies. The spiral has become a powerful symbol for creation and growth, used by many ancient cultures and religious traditions. It represents the journey and change of life as it unfolds; taking a labyrinth-like passage that leads to Source. Spirals have been linked to nature, the seasons, and the path of life: birth, growth, death and reincarnation.