Artist Statement

pat2320x480aOver the years, I have created objects using a variety of materials to express my thoughts about things that are important to me. The impetus for my work is derived from both my conscious and subconscious mind. Spontaneous or preconceived ideas, images, shapes and sketches arrive. Often the materials will dictate a particular work’s limitation, while at the same time offering endless variations. My communication is through form, forms about ideas that relate to the materials I use. The style of my work varies greatly from figurative to abstract, fitting the idea, not conforming to one way of seeing.

Carving is a time consuming art. When I carve, I am taking away, working with what remains. I never destroy living trees to create my sculpture. I prefer to gather trees that have fallen and then I dry and cure them for many years before starting a carving. I study the log. I think about the form I want to bring out of the wood. I feel a reverence for the life it had and a deep commitment to transform it into a new existence.

Derived from my heritage, the study of ancient Ireland offers me an ongoing concentration and a process of redefining strong sculptural images. These images are reclaimed and reinvented from early manuscripts – an undulating line, twisting and changing shapes, interconnecting a letter with animal and plant forms. The cross and the circle shapes are repeated continuously in my work, not to function as a religious symbol, but as a strong presence in a given space.

In working my metal pieces, the process of welding is direct and fluid. I am creating forms with fire and building up the shapes I want. The welded pieces are small environments with human figures in a defined space. They are compositions with short stories about relationships – human to human; and human to all the other beings with which we share our existence.