Lacewing Essay, 2023

Rescuing found objects from metal recycling sites, second hand shops and thrift stores, my sculptural palette consists of society's abandoned, cast off detritus deemed no longer useful. Reshaping, combining or leaving them as is, becomes a playful and transformative 'encounter' which results in pieces which refer to architecture, natural objects, forms which I find humorous or imaginary habitations for Lacewings. After placing LED string lights within the structure I layer the exterior of the object with tracing paper and glue and then insert geometric shapes of theater light gels into these skin-like papered surfaces. In the gallery colored lights cast complementary and tertiary shadows of the original color of the light onto the surrounding surfaces of the gallery.

The hanging sculptures rotating by stepper motors with slip rings are a reflection of the fact that everything in the known universe is in motion. This also describes a transcendent experience I once had in which for days I became acutely aware and could see/feel that absolutely everything is in a constant state of motion, including the atoms and molecules of seemingly inanimate objects. Nothing is static. All 'things' are a swirling mass of electrons and protons filled with energy and light, inextricably connected and constantly evolving. Our Earth is spinning at 1,000 mph while rotating around the Sun at 66,627 mph and the Sun is rotating at 448,000 mph are a few examples of the unfathomable state of flux which we inhabit.

A deceased Lacewing lay before me one evening in my studio as I had been contemplating various titles for this exhibition. Studying the veins of its wings I realized they were similar in structure to the 'bones' of my sculptures. Always fascinated by these fairy like creatures with their pale green bodies and iridescent, transparent wings I learned they are pollinators and beneficial garden predators, devouring aphids, scale and mealy bugs and who also feed on nectar and honeydew. They are sometimes referred to as the Aphid Lion.

During the process of creating Lacewing, it dawned on that in many ways, the consistent thread throughout all of my work over the years has been the effect of light on color. In my figurative oil painting I exploited the the use of multiple glazing in which the colored pigments, suspended in the viscous substance of the medium, allow light to travel into the glazes, refracting off the particles of pigment, returning to the viewer's eye, enhanced. My Geometric Abstraction body of work, created from the very matte surfaces of gouache on paper which absorbs light, reflecting back to the viewer not the color of the pigment itself but the colors which have not been absorbed by the surface. I also used juxtapositions of contrasting colors and pattern to create the optical effects of ghosts, haloes and reversals, a phenomenon which occurs when the brain can no longer process the information it is receiving.

In some ways I have been trying to create a physical manifestation of the inner light I experience in my meditation practice of many years. That mysterious, luminous, dancing light we all carry within. In Lacewing, light filled objects are rotating and floating in a shimmering, prismatic realm, not dissimilar from an out of body experience I once had. In this other worldly, wholly beneficent dimension, filled with an undulating glow and vibration, I felt more love and peace than I could possible contain.

Physicists state that light is both a particle and a wave, a packet or 'quanta.' Medical science has discovered that light triggers the release of dopamine, the "feel good" hormone produced in the brain. Light initiates the process of photosynthesis. Without light we cannot survive. Nor can we survive without darkness; however in uncomfortably dark spaces, we can't chase away the darkness but we can bring light and the darkness vanishes. Light is magic. It grows our food and warms our homes. Light is the window on our universe and its language its love.

Description of Lacewing, 2023

Lacewing consists of forty-three sculptures created from single or combined found objects most of which are suspended from the ceiling and rotate. Twenty eight of the pieces have LED string lights embedded within and are then wrapped and glued with strips of tracing paper, creating a kind of skin like shell. 'Windows' of theater lighting gels are then cut and placed within many of the geometric forms of the found objects giving a stained glass effect. The remaining pieces, or 'skeletons' are found objects which have been painted and adorned in different fashions.

Most of the found objects are made from steel, vinyl covered steel, stainless steel and wire fencing which are wired and glued together. Other materials include tracing paper, archival glue, theater lighting gels, styrofoam, aluminum foil, enamel spray paint, gouache, plastic balls, nail polish, paper mache forms, lead crystals, fake pearls and the LED lights.

Aside from eight stationary pieces installed on the floor, nineteen of the sculptures rotate, clockwise or counterclockwise, at varying speeds using stepper motors with slip rings. The gallery is lit with colored LED spotlights which cast complementary and tertiary shadows of the lights themselves onto the walls and floor of the gallery.

There are bluetooth speakers placed in the four corners of the gallery which play a continuous loop of excerpts from the album "Little Buddha," created and composed by Agustin Pozo.

Lacewing is currently installed at the Roswell Museum of Art in New Mexico which opened on October 7th of 2023 and will be on view until July 7, 2024.