To start with I am not simply a sculptor in bamboo. I'm also a grower of
bamboo. I plant it. I nurture it and I harvest it. An artist -
grower. This adds quite
a connected dimension to the relatively simple process of sculpting. The
drilling, cutting, bending and weaving is tempered by the intimate and natural
process of gardening - of waiting and observing of admiring and worrying. When
I finally harvest, clean and dry a piece of bamboo, I feel quite humbled by its
voyage so far, what it has come through as well as what it has become. I'm also
humbled by the amount of work it takes. It's not straight, it's wide at the
bottom and skinny at the top, has bumps its entire length and the thickness of
its wall varies from bottom to top as well. It is the antithesis of the world
of "Home Depot, 4x8, 2x4, processed and manufactured, square corners, bar coded,
off the shelf into your cart, thank you very much". Bar codes don't grow in
nature, not that they're not useful, it's just nice to follow something from
it's origin through a years of growth to admire it's potential. A valuable
perspective. It's a lot more work starting with the raw material
but there is insight not achieved by otherwise. At the very least appreciation.
At this point of promise, with the bamboo harvested dried and cleaned,
the fun begins. In contrast to that humble admiration it also feels good to
finally have my way with it. To directly act on it. To make something. A new
layer of discovery begins as its strengths and limitations become apparent and
ditto for my designs. There is a lot of almost good stuff which is to say
failure. I do a lot of prototyping to test designs as well as assembly
For viewers, I'm hoping for astonishment. At least initially an
unthinking reaction/impression and then a chance to get lost in the rhythm of
line, shadows, form, texture and the mix of unnatural and natural patterns. It
is perhaps a space that can be walked through. A shelter, a comfort. Complex
lines and rhythms filtering in the elements outside. Bars. An arch. An ark.
A child’s game. A quiet place of safety and repose. A natural preserve in an
urban space. A flow. Detailed simplicity.
I am cheating certainly in using materials that
have organic features that are attractive all on their own. I see a balance
between the wild and tamed, struggle and surrender, serious and serendipitous.
I can't help but to recall the plants original mission to reach out and harvest
photons from the sun. That function echoes through the sculptures still. A
stretching, reaching, gratification, success and celebration. Survival. After
my small insight, sweat and tears I nurture the enduring strength of the
material to brag solo and loudly.