Family is a unique and complex social structure and means different things to different people. For me, it’s about where we come from and who we come from and with whom we share our hearts and days and experiences. Who are our relations, our kin? Both biological and chosen. And not just from our human species (Homo sapiens) but farther back…to our animalian roots. To the place where we originated along with all the other creatures that populate (or once did) our amazing planet Earth.
I have a strong visceral connection to these beings, these other life forms, of which we share multiple qualities and behaviors…needs and desires…organic elements and DNA. I recognize in them a deeply potent essence that I also possess but can’t truly articulate in words. I can, however, express this connection through my non-verbal paintings. The way our eyes connect to theirs seems to ignite this ancient familial bond. It somehow helps us…remember. And we desperately need to remember our bone-and-blood connections rather than focus on our surface differences.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read: “To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.” I sincerely hope that my work helps people recall and acknowledge our shared ancestry with these exquisite creatures, and value that connection to the point that we honor it enough to equate the fate of their lives with the fate of our own.
These creatures before you are part of my Family Tree.