My work is heavily influenced by the immersive cultural experience that I have received from living in Japan. I have branched out to the art form of ikebana to further expand my artistic sensibilities. Studying at the Sogetsu Foundation in Tokyo, I have discovered a truly meditative mindset that is a catalyst for spontaneous creativity. I am enamored by the technical prowess required to create from the organic and the intrinsic connection that I can have with the natural materials. These attributes have paved the way for my current body of work.
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement in which nature and humanity are brought together in harmony; both the artist and nature work in a partnership to generate a beautiful moment sparked by the arranger’s innate sensibility towards natural materials. There is a meditative mindset as the artist transfers the creative energy to ikebana; one becomes quiet. This time allows the artist to live in the moment and to have an appreciation for nature; a simple and sublime moment. The founder of Sogetsu, Sofu Teshigahara states that “flowers become human in ikebana.” He believed that the artist would become closer to their work if they connected nature to humanity. I initially became interested in ikebana after attending a performance in Tokyo by Shuho, the Master of Ikebana at the Ginkaku Jisho-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion) in Kyoto. Shuho encourages people to consider plants like human beings, living entities with their own individuality and to appreciate their fundamental nature.
Using the philosophy of ikebana, I have conditioned myself to seek a meditative mindset in an effort to transfer the creative energy to the paper’s surface through drawings and serigraphs and even beyond into botanical sculpture. My drawings and serigraphs represent past ikebana creations that are captured in time and haven’t allowed to wither. The imagery reveals detailed segments of ikebana forms that highlight its unique essence. The botanical sculptures are created with dried plant materials and inverted cast concrete. This combination of materials suggests many things such as: the interaction of opposites, the naturally occurring and the anthropogenic, and the fragile balance between what exists and what we create. The dialog between dried plant materials and concrete extracts a relationship that reveals how contrast can bring balance. Whether two dimensional or three dimensional, the essence of my work sheds light on the physical strength, inner strength, and unique beauty that both plants and humans share; the state of harmony.