Inherent in sculpture is the issue of
object vs. subject. As a manufactured item, a sculpture is first
and foremost an object because it occupied space. But sculptures
are invariably about something. This something is the subject,
which sets the frame of reference and the context. The issue
of sculpture is the uneasy fight for dominance of object or subject.
In my work, I play with this dichotomy of the existence of sculpture.
I aim to produce sculpture that is subject but which on closer inspection
is object, and vice versa. That is the reason for my choice of steel
as a medium, for it has no inherent or assumed subject.
I read "The Wind in the Willows" over 10 years ago, and yet
it was only last year that I started to move it into sculpture.
Moving an image into sculpture has always been a long journey
of exploration for me.
For any sculpture, it starts with a lot of looking, and even
more reading. For mole, I read about Kenneth Graham including
the original letters to his son which were the basis of the story.
I watched a couple of movies; not for images but to see how mole
related to others and how others related to him. I visited the
Smithsonian Naturalist Center at Leesburg to look at specimens
of moles, and I looked at skeletons.
All the while, I drew.
Once I felt that I had an idea of what I wanted the sculpture
to be, I drew up a rough idea of the sculpture and picked the
I then started to build the character, stopping only occasionally
to refer to source materials to validate that an idea was true
to the subject.
Making sculpture is a journey of discovery, as was mole's move
to the riverbank.
I hope to do more in this series, but my preoccupation has always
been with mole, who is an unassuming character, yet the narrative
thread of "The Wind in the Willows."