I grew up with Shinto animist belief that all things in the world have spirits. Thus, when I see discarded items on the street or thrift store shelves, I feel a deep sadness for them and I am moved to make these abandoned objects happy. My sympathy goes out equally to all discarded objects regardless of materials, but my current working material of choice is plastic. I use mostly common household items to create animal forms with a sense of movement and self-awareness. I use plastics because of the variety of curvilinear forms and colors available. I manipulate and assemble them together as brush strokes to create an effect similar to a Van Gogh painting in three dimensions.
One of the important tasks for artists of our time is to bring more of the natural world back into people’s lives, especially in urban areas. When we encounter the true wonders of nature, the beauty we behold transcends our intellects and reaches directly to our hearts. I desire a similar response from viewers of my work; to provoke a re-examination of our relationship to the natural world.
My work is also about perceiving harmony, even in situations that appear chaotic from the inside. When observing my sculptures up close, one might see gaps, holes and items being held on only by small points; step away, however, and the sculptures reveal the harmony created when the objects are aligned to the same general (but not identical) direction. Similarly, it is important to gain perspective by stepping back from current problems and look at the larger picture. Then one can perceive the beauty and patterns that exist. I tend to be very analytical about problems, but when I look too hard and closely at the details, all I see are gaps and differences of opinions. When I step back, I can see that although we may approach the problem from different angles, we often have larger goals in common.
“If we value our resources we will waste less.”
I believe it is very difficult to think far into the future in terms of our ecological foot print. So often our predictions are wrong, and there are not guarantees for anyone’s future. I do not want to condemn the use of plastic or our desire for a more convenient, easier life. However, we must be aware that convenience has hidden costs.
I believe the best way for artists to help reduce waste is to show how beautiful these materials can be, and what can be done with these mundane objects and materials. When we think of these things as beautiful, we value them. If we value our resources we will waste less.