Flight dreams were a common occurrence while I was growing up, and these topographic surfaces vividly represent a familiar place in my childhood imagination & memory.
They have evolved from my ongoing relationship with paper pulp, old-school 3-D casting, and a mixture of other forgotten or discarded materials like used teas, ground cinnamon, fine dirt, and recycled paper pulp from previous castings. Now they regenerate their own particular cycle of life as pieces of dried and broken topo terrains get rehydrated and recast.
Like a desert, watercolor pigments are greedily absorbed by this gloriously forgiving medium and often set a mood for me, or evoke an associated memory of flying. They concretely represent the most elusive memories of my childhood dreams.
While many of these pieces now exist as stand alone (often wall mounted) works of art, most of the paper pulp castings I do now are eventually cut into smaller pieces that are then fitted into a variety of wooden comparments of old retail display cases and/or re-purposed frames where I've added a shadowbox space for the topographic surface. Mirrors and glass coverings are a steady feature of these works.
Often used to duplicate or expand the viewers perspective a smaller land mass, they help to expand on my idea of our earthly fragility because they are contained and 'protected'.
I began to expand on this idea of The Fragile Container in response to a generous 2020 COVID grant from the Svane Family Foundation while utilizing their working theme of 'The Ark' as a loose concept for local grant recipients to expand upon and personalize thru their own artwork. In the Fall of 2021, The foundation plans to auction one work from each grant recipient as a COVID fund raiser for Bay Area arts organizations. Among other projects I'm working on this "Fragile Container' body of work toward that end. Hopefully I will also be generating a show of this and other works in a yet to be determined exhibition space. MMG