As guardians of our rights and freedoms, my Women Warriors series are wall masks mounted on shields with swords. They are inspired by the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial celebrating the 19th Amendment when women courageously fought to win the right to vote. “The Host of Plagues” channels our intense response to this raging COVID19 global pandemic. The python with its varied and intense symbolism—all of it inspiring awe and terror—replaces the sword in this representation. As I adhere to sheltered-in-place, I am developing a rather primitive relationship with this work; it is my protective talisman that must remain in my home studio to keep me…to keep us all safe. “Deadly Beauty” expresses the toll of the drug crisis created in my grief over a young friend who died from street heroin laced with Fentanyl. The mask, crowned with poppies, shows nature’s beauty punctured by heroin needles. The gloved hands obscuring the mouth represents the cover-up of big Pharma profits over human misery. “Nasty Woman” fights for equality and dominion over her body. Along with the long history of women kept powerless by men, the profound refugee crisis often separates children from their parents. Painted tampons dominate the sculpture. “Medusa”, crowned with yellow roses symbolizing the Suffragettes represents the duality of mother nature to give birth and destroy. Exploitation of our natural resources puts money into the pockets of the powerful rich while our poorest and most vulnerable victims are displaced and dying. These assemblages incorporate largely recycled materials since I am intrigued by their histories and concerned with limiting my carbon footprint.
“Tikkun Olam”, translated as “repair the tear in the world” is an ancient Hebrew phrase that originally had mystical connotations that the world was created imperfectly to be fixed only by human endeavor. Contemporary usage of the phrase shares a concern with public policy and societal change extending to urgent global environmental emergency. My small “Repair the World” tool kits communicate the need for people to actively participate in Tikkun Olam. The stages represent the globe. (Recycled cardboard; painted with acrylics. 7 inches high x 7 inches wide x 5 inches deep.)
“See Hear Speak” is a conceptual sculpture of three double-sided masks on poles. The brightly colored, outside masks are superheroes fighting for the ideal for humanity and the environment. The inside masks depict charred Armageddon. “See” is identified by large eyes created from CD disks. “Hear” has large ears and protects a bound figure representing humanity. “Speak” represents speaking out with political action. (Recycled rattan, string, bullet cases, nails, wood scraps, sticks, beads, string, toy scraps, CD blanks, fabric. Sculptures vary between 19 inches to 21 inches high.)
“Nesting” represents the primary sanctuary of all living organisms, personified as bird-like creatures. The wall mask consists of a large green nest that physically and metaphorically holds aloft the wooden bird and cradles the two implying a safe haven for multiple generations. The wooden forked ends guard the nests. (Recycled rattan, string, leather, nails, wood scraps. Glued, painted with acrylic. 28 inches high x 11 inches wide x 9 inches deep.)