When I was young, my grandparents owned an antique store. I spent the majority of my childhood weekends inside flea markets, estate sales and auction houses. My love for old things was founded in these places and nurtured by my grandparents. My grandmother taught me to bake, sew and paint. Walking into their home, I would be overwhelmed with the delicious smells escaping from the kitchen engulfing the whole house. Because they were antique dealers, we always ate on China.
I am mesmerized by China. Each plate its own delicate piece of art. The place where the China was created influences the story of the pattern. Unknown artists labored to create the intimate details we eventually cover with Thanksgiving dinner, then hand wash and put away in a cupboard, hidden from view.
I encircle the dress forms of my sculptures with these beautiful pieces of art. The weight of the pieces grounds the sculptures and represents the solid, strong inner and exterior beauty of women. Most women today will never wear a formal gown and the China is relegated to a box in the garage, formal gowns and formal China being deemed obsolete. By using the China in this way, I am attempting to elevate its historical importance and encourage the viewer to see these items in a new way. No longer hidden, but instead prominently displayed for daily enjoyment.
The combination of materials I use including ceramic tile, glass beads, and the China- while all forms initially thought to be solid, each is breakable. Relinking them together in a mosaic, makes them fortified in a new way. The concrete and the grout are embedded and harden to reinforce the assemblage. Attempting to create the pliability of fabric with these materials, to make them feminine and flirty, represents the strength of women and the power they possess.
The sculptures range in size from the smallest at 17 inches to the largest, life size. They are easily displayed on pedestals in a gallery setting or on entry tables, kitchen islands, sofa tables, bathroom vanities or dressing tables in a home setting.
I encourage the viewer to touch the pieces, to feel the stability and rigidity, and experience the materials in a new way. Each sculpture is standing tall and firm, delicate but fierce. Standing for the importance of the past and leaning into the future.