“A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions — so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.”
My sculptures are not meant to be viewed from any one direction, but are an immersive experience meant to be enjoyed from all angles. With that in mind, here are some 360 degree videos of each sculpture from various angles.
Psalm of Hope
In my recent work, I focus on my own struggles and trials and how God has helped me through them. In these past few years, my greatest struggle has been dealing with my chronic back problems and the emotional turmoil it caused. In this desperate internal battle I remembered the Psalms. They show that God knows and wants to hear our honest prayers. This ordeal gave birth to my “Psalm of Hope.”
This series is my way of visualizing and coming to grips with what I went through at each stage of my injury. From being at the peak of my college athletic career to the devastation that ensued as the reality of my injuries took over. Not only was I dealing with physical pain, but also mental and emotional despair. The people that I trusted let me down when I needed them the most. Yet through this I was never truly alone.
Throughout this series of works I utilize both literal and figurative imagery. I view myself as the vessel being filled, emptied, and filled again as my back problems grow. The outside of the water basins are pieced together from torn strips of clay textured using a variety of laces and found objects, then stained a light purple. The texture and color choices are meant to show femininity and fragility while the piecework demonstrates how I am desperately trying to hold myself together on the outside for all to see.
On the inside of each vessel I play with the fluidity of glazes and water in reference to the Living Water that is Jesus Christ. The first of the basins is full to the rim (Psalm of Hope 1). But as the series progresses, a darkness creeps in and sucks away those initial feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction with where I was (Psalm of Hope 2-3). My initial concerns grow into full-blown fears and anxieties as I am overtaken by darkness (Psalm of Hope 4). I reach a point of complete desperation and am thrown into a deep depression. There is no sign of ever improving and I question if it is worth even waking up. I am completely isolated from those whom I love (Psalm of Hope 5). The first signs of hope begin to grow in the form of a flower, as I leave behind the world of athletics that I once knew and see a light at the end of the tunnel (Psalm of Hope 6). As I am now able to take a step back from the trials that I went through, I am able to realize that there was good even when I felt completely isolated (Psalm of Hope 7). Finally I have come to grips with the horrible events that I went through. I have found a purpose and am full of hope despite my continual struggle with the pain and its effects (Psalm of Hope 8).
The flower that grows atop the spine is meant to resemble a tongue of fire growing as it is fed. Tongues of fire are recognized as a sign of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The flower-flames are made of pure white porcelain as a symbol of purity, light, and hope in the midst of darkness. As hard as I tried to hold myself together and pull myself through my grief and pain I could not. The only way I could truly survive was to go through the fire and water; that is to say, to be filled with the hope that Christ and the Holy Spirit give me. This is my interpretation of the living water and the refining fire as expressed in my work.
In everything I do, I strive to be a light and show that there is hope, even in the darkest situations. It is not my goal to push my beliefs onto other people, but rather to share my own life experiences through my art. This is simply how I approach challenges in my life.
I feel that religious art is rarely represented in the modern art world and am striving to bridge that gap in an understandable way. At the same time I want people from all backgrounds to be able to come up to my work and appreciate it, even if they do not understand or agree with my point of view. I feel that all people, no matter their beliefs, can still find meaning in my art.