37" in height; 2013
Photos by Kendrick Moholt
The design stage of any of my pieces is a period of pondering the meaning of the form. Sometimes I don't understand it myself. Art is a visual language, and words are not always up to the task of describing the work. In this piece, Mending, I feel that words are particularly inadequate.
The concepts I juggled in this piece are several. First, I wanted the form to be youthful, finding her way. Some of the structure of her being is the product of her environment—her home, her community, her culture and its heritage, all crafting certain of her parameters—and
its heritage, all crafting certain of her parameters - some of her support is lent from that beginning. These are the ties that bind.
Second, I wanted the form to convey that there are imperfections and flaws in the process of finding one's adulthood. The materials themselves may not be perfect, in that she, like most any human being, may be burdened by inherited “flaws.” The process of growing up and choosing a path may be less than ideal, and in that process, some injuries or wounds may leave scars. Some scars show, some are well concealed. Some disappear with time, and some grow more pronounced. These are the things we work around.
Third, I wanted the piece to suggest that the "mending" of the self is part of the making of the person. The repairs necessary to survive the rigors of reaching adulthood are often in the hands of the individual. Choices made are going to leave their own marks. These are the ways we move forward.
Lastly, if I am to sum it up succinctly, I wanted the piece to convey the idea that no matter the damage sustained in the process of choosing a path, there can be grace and dignity in the self one has made. Flaws can become character; scars can become spice. Some of the people we most revere have had the most obstacles, and it’s likely that with an easier path, they would not have developed the characteristics we most value. The way we handle things thrown in our path is what makes us who we are.