I have always been drawn to Native American symbols. The Y’ei mask is particularly interesting. The geometric shapes are deeply symbolic. The name Yei derives from the word Yeibicheii meaning the Holy People.
I began creating these masks as a way of teaching myself metal work. Once I discovered how the Y’ei masks complimented the etched bone sculpture, I gave it a copper face and created my first mixed media sculpture.
Ironically, my first piece was created on the day Pat Conroy died, March 4, 2016, and so I named it “Prince of Tides.” It gives a voice to these jawbones and sets them in a human posture with their arms waving as if floating mysteriously in tidal water. It all fit together so nicely that I call the sculptures the “Prince of Tides” series.
There are tensculptures in the series so far: Prince of Tides, Trumpeter, Medicine Woman, Sedna, Narwhale, Twins, Royal Couple, Walrus, Odin, and Pretty White Bird.
Home for a visit, Medicine Woman is blessing the new year with a shake of her golden rattle. May all who see her feel the energy and soar into a new year free of evil spirits. She resides in Liberty Maine at the Davistown Museum. Here is the link:
Birth is a pathway to eternity. Bones remain the sole witness of a mortal existence and provide a narrative of our earthly life. My work shows that death is not morbid, but simply the end of growth; I strive to resurrect forgotten spirits and recover stories of those deceased. In my sculptures, bones have a voice; they can now forever speak for themselves.
I dedicate this piece to my nephews Matt, Mike, and grandniece Amber, gone but not forgotten.
The Twins stand in the spotlight of human arrogance. They dance, carefree, appearing to cheat death. Gazing upon their beauty, we screen out the decaying teeth. We pause and accept these are indeed the remains of a mortal, yet still the fantasy persists, denying our fate is just as certain. How easy it is to look to the right or left of death and imagine our time is not borrowed.
The Chalice is one of a series of raised vessels in which I experimented with the process of raising a flat copper sheet into a formed metal cup. The glowing silver cross and dangling rosary likely depicts early memories of Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s and a childhood of mysterious rituals I did not fully understand. The image evokes a somber stillness. I recall a collective body of formally dressed strangers towering over my head, hopeful seekers of redemption. Amidst the waft of frankincense and myrhh, I was hushed to silence, and so I focused on this mysterious cup: The Chalice.