I have always made things.
I have studied art since I was a young girl. Upon graduation I got involved in making things that people used in daily life, things that required the user interact with the work. Art and design calls to my soul and I never feel closer to home than when I am creating. The need to make work that has some level of measureable interaction with a user drives the direction of my work.
My fiber optic work has merged much of my life; from my early training as a Fine Artist, through my 25+ year fascination with lighting, to my love of nature which I have enjoyed since I was a young girl. It was through my fascination with lighting that I found my way back to Fine Art, in the form of large-scale drawings lit with fiber optics. I found the inspiration for the imagery in nature. Walking through natural environments, watching birds fly, being on or near the water; imagery drawn from places and things that feed the soul.
Lighting has held deep meaning for me. My grandfather, an inventor, held over 90 patents on headlamp design and invented the automotive blinker. Lighting has bridged cultural myths and religion as symbolic of the energy that connects us all. In my work it reads as the connection between a constellation far above, and the soul’s energy deep within; as an aura that connects us to something beyond, something that gives hope. It represents a connection of extremes: heaven and earth, black and white, even the artistic mediums of digital printing and charcoal, the oldest medium known to man.
The work has also shown to have physiological effect on the audience. During a solo exhibit in Cologne, Germany we found viewers would sit down and stay in the gallery for up to three hours and returning multiple times to do the same. Research has shown that the particular wavelength of light we are using is the same as is used in light therapy, resulting in reduction of stress and actually calming the body. We are now experimenting with making the lighting in my work even more interactive with the audience.
I believe art and design has the responsibility to make this world a better place, to relieve suffering wherever we can. I think art has the power to transform. I believe that beauty is transformative.
I made things for the 15+ year run of my design company with Lloyd Schwan. I made things after his suicide and while I raised our three sons. I continued to make things while teaching at a University. Things which are beautiful, that have a level of interactive capabilities for the user, things that incorporate the magic of light.
I make things. It is who I am.