Artist Statement: Endo/Exo Skeleton
Forms are investigations into saddle surfaces and other topographies and were conceived as ways of bouncing light across and through surfaces. They are improvisations in form.
They reference vertebrae, spinal columns, ribcages, and corsets.
They are under tension but they encase air.
Their surfaces are defined by their support structures.
The sewn edges on some suggest sutures and operative scars. Some hang on the wall, some are suspended, and others rest on flat surfaces.
Some appear to rely on a central spine, others on variations of ribcages.
My early sculptural training began with the study of bones, specifically an elephant’s femur and a rhinoceros’ humerus. These bones taught me about topography and abstract surfaces. Their edges receded into planes; their concavities articulated into protrusions. We studied their anatomy as if they were landscapes.
Such bones are the ultimate armatures. Their surfaces are informed by their structural roles; the bones flare broadly at their ends where, meeting other bones, they support the movement and postures of multi-ton creatures.
Recently, when I was recovering from a spinal injury and the subsequent surgery, I reflected again on bones and skeletal structures and their soft articulating junctures. Failed for a time by the skeletal support of my spinal column, in order to keep working, I needed to make lightweight pieces I could work on while lying down.
Like writing in verse with metric or syllabic restrictions, my damaged spine set parameters of size and weight for the sculptures I made.
The pain prior to surgery was of the intensity to break a person. Even breathing focused me wholly in the moment, and I became aware of inhalation as an exercise in tension. Being physically frail, confined indoors, and breathing with pain turned my thoughts inevitably to women’s corsets. I thought about seemingly insubstantial volumes of air bursting at their seams.
Confined to bed, I thought frequently about light and space: light in its dual meanings of weightlessness and illumination. I thought about interior volumes opened up to allow the passage of light and air within. I envisioned armatures pressing against outer surfaces, such a skeleton describing form (rather than inflicting form) as much as it supports it against gravity. The armatures within these Forms have their own joints and like knuckles or kneecaps, these joints appear as points of suspension under the skin.