Materials and processes excite me and combining media is integral to my practice. In current sculptural work there is an emphasis on printed and embroidered textiles but I added cast paper, felted silk, wire, cork and plaster.
Unknown makers of objects related to belief systems inspire me; those whose art and craft work is collected by other makers or displayed in museums; these may be considered ‘outsider artists’ who often lived thousands of years ago.
In the last two years my interest has taken me to the Hopi Pueblo Indians who carved ‘Kachina’ in New Mexico. ‘Kachina’ were made to produce a specific outcome for material welfare, such as rainfall, fertility, curing of illness, disease and growth. These ritual objects were imbued with supernatural power and as members of an intangible world had powers humans, alive or dead, did not. Kachina took on many forms both of the human but also wild and domesticated animals and birds, all things in the world had two forms - the visible object and the spirit counterpart. Bird spirits possessed meanings; strong birds of prey taught mysteries and assisted escape from the Underworld.
The Making of the "Kachina"
I have long been fascinated by objects made by people representing belief systems in many parts of the world to produce a specific outcome to their material welfare, such as rainfall, fertility, curing of illness, disease and growth. The focus of my attention this year has been on the “kachina” of the New Mexico Hopi pueblo people. These ritual objects were imbued with supernatural power and as members of an intangible world had powers humans, alive or dead, did not. Kachinas manifest themselves in the real world through ordinary events such as corn sprouting, rain falling, or the increase in animals or human beings.
These small, cottonwood or pine figures are the starting point for my works using many disciplines of paper casting, papier maché, transfer, block and screen printing on cloth, machine embroidery, felting and quilting as well as the inclusion of a few objets trouvés. Animals for the Hopi were regarded as people who wore skins and that is the motivation for my own bovine votive offering.
Kyash, the Parrot, Wiharuma, the Turkey and Mongwu, the Great Horned Owl
Kyash, the Parrot and Mongwu, the Great Horned Owl
Kwahu the Golden Eagle Kachina
Rainmaker and Guardian of Crops
Keeper of Time
Guardian of Fertility in Cattle Herds
Three Elders Herding a Cow
Hopping Doll with Fresh Fish