ACTS OF DECEPTION/ MIRACULOUS VESSELS
For nearly a decade, I made molds from bottles in order to make beeswax casts from them. Sometimes these forms were direct transcriptions of a shape into this seductive material; on other occasions, I altered the mold in successive generations until the cast’s relationship to the original was merely a family resemblance. All of these objects (colorful; often slightly translucent; mutable, yet rigid) formed a kind of sculptural vocabulary for my interests-- things like time, history, memory-- much as certain conventions of figurative representation have offered a platform for artists to convey their ideas. At one point, I investigated the place where art, science and magic overlap or collide. It's a bigger territory than we might at first imagine. After all, all three require a substantial leap of faith/ suspension of disbelief.
Many of the old bottles I used were made for pharmaceuticals or patent medicines. The Natural Magic: Cures for Modern Maladies series refers in part to this origin. The afflictions I name (a sore conscience, the shock of the new, compassion fatigue) may not be unique to our time, but seem to haunt contemporary lives. Whether science can find a cure for these things, I don't know. Possibly, these neatly-labeled concoctions are more in the nature of wishful thinking/magic potions for the psyche. Often, the size of a bottle (or sometimes its shape) suggests how much relief might be necessary for each particular problem. I deliberately chose a palette of black, white and (predominantly) grey for these pieces. So few things are black and white, after all: is boredom really a problem? A little malaise-like melancholy can be a very good thing, in its own way. And maybe we need to feel the smart of a sore conscience, to urge us into positive action.