My ceramic sculptures are inspired by historical events, even more so by the people that history has forgotten, the “footnotes” of history. The figures, while representational, are figurative; their lack of color pointing to their fading into the ashen white of obscurity. All history is construction, a story created to explain a given set of facts, and my sculptures are no different- they are personal interpretations, as much about me as the overt events depicted. History is often presented as the stories of heroes and heroic action – men pushing back jungles, conquering new lands, a sun that never set. Yet who reveres or even remembers the boys pointlessly massacred in the Philippines as punishment for an uprising against American troops, the first woman sent to the electric chair or, the fading strength of the failed polar explorer still proud to die for the glory of Britain. Through creating sculptures I hoped, however briefly, to bring these lost figures to life, to have them step out of the photographs, lithographs and letters that comprise their only record and let them reemerge in three dimensions. Desire, ambition and human cruelty form their center. While the subjects are often tragedies, they also contain the humor inherent in human frailty.
My sculptures are in small, like the lives they represent, almost the opposite of the heroic. They are also the exact size of the action figures I played with as a child, creating stories and imagining who I would become. Lying on the floor, manipulating the figures, I could enter their world, and they became the characters of my fantasies. Like their childhood counterparts, the sculptures, my “inaction figures” have entered the domain of dreams, a place far distant from their origins. Each roombox contains a vignette at once horrible familiar and funny. The sculptures are my attempt to find the universal emotions hidden inside the particular. I see myself as a visual storyteller, part of a long tradition of narrative sculpture.