Before we can see that created things (especially material) are unreal, we must see clearly that they are real.
For the “unreality” of material things is only relative to the greater reality of spiritual things.
Thomas Merton. Thoughts in Solitude
I love stuff. I love the stuffness of stuff. Art gives me an excuse to touch, manipulate, and think about stuff; objects and their materials, places and their histories. I have spent more than half my life devoted to artistic pursuits, and yet I still find myself overwhelmed by the same basic questions:
How do I know what I know (or think I know)? What gives objects and places their meaning? What is the difference between an object and its image? How does the history of a place effect my understanding of it?
These are common artistic questions. They are also philosophical–even theological–questions. They are questions that orbit around a much bigger question, “What is the nature of reality?”
I do not think of my work as an attempt to find resolutions to these questions, rather they are an exploration them. I create artistic processes that are ritualistic and meditative, allowing me time to think about objects, places, history, and memory. To borrow from Thomas Merton, It is my hope that the finished works will paradoxically allow us a glimpse into both the reality and the "unreality" of the objects, materials, and places I work with.