“Crossing the Threshold” was a monumental product of my creative process. It represents, in retrospect, my life since I have become an artist. What began as an idea about making an assemblage with silver, turned into an opportunity to use up scrap while reflecting on all that led me to this point. Perhaps this was brought on by pushing myself to create strictly geometric shapes, or my obsession with making reverse images, which had actually become a distraction from other creative tangents (which is not how I viewed the creative process to be!) But as I began melting down my blunders, pieces of cutoffs, former visions and old ideas, I had no expectations, just a desire to have fun with them. I was engineering things with no meaning other than to add texture, shadow, and create portals that invited exploration…
The journey of this manifestation is not unlike my own journey as I dare to dive deeper into my subconscious. Where should I put the forgotten pieces of my life’s work? I have done so many things, but they’ve all made sense and originated with intentions I understood – to pay bills, build shelter, organize the home. But this was totally random, and I was scared to cross this threshold. I had to rely completely on instinct.
The year had also been like that. I traveled multiple times to Europe, crossing thresholds of my ancient ancestors. There was a mystery behind every one. I felt in my heart the symbols, arrangements of beautiful stone patterns, doors that were thickly textured with incredible handmade hardware. Every door was different and had a different story to tell.
Working on this sculpture filled me with mystery and fear. Somehow the placement of things just made sense, but they were abstract and somewhere buried deep in my mind. Initially the placement meant nothing to me other than it looked cool. I worked on this for three full days, rearranging bits at a time and re-soldering often. I was exhausted by the time it was finished.
Now that I sit with this, the symbols have begun to make sense. The numerals above the door, “2018”, represent a year to cause fear in all of us, crossing into what seems like the new normal of frantic politics and a world gone mad. Fortunately for me, I was so enthralled with the incredible art and culture of Europe that I came home wanting to recreate that beauty. I felt I had crossed over into a new level of consciousness. Now I understood the effect of art and technology. I am both artist and technician. Two minds united in a curious vision.
Other examples of the unintended showed up in this piece.The ‘05 symbolizes a year of my life that began a decade long journey toward 3D art from the flatness of photography. As a photographer, I was left unsatisfied with flat images. I wanted to raise the lines and curves to show the depth more than a photo can do.
The “E” on the doorstep represents the Earth. Another symptom of a disconnected society, our planet in peril is more apparent in 2018 than any year I can remember. The honey bee, a prophecy of the next extinct species, along with the sun and moon, further symbolizing a planetary crisis. Finally, the chains symbolize restraints put on mankind when living in anything but a free society.
As I salute my grandfathers who fought the Revolutionary War, who trusted us to keep society free, I am thankful my art has the capacity to transport me to another time and dimension, and I hope it does the same for all who view it.