I have studied and practiced sculpture for many years and have held many successful exhibitions in Australia and overseas, in the photo above you can see the work I am developing now, this is my first new work with sculpture in nine years.
In 2007 I was injured whilst at work and have subsequently undergone numerous surgeries on my spine to address a disease called degenerative spondylosis / degenerative disc disease. This has left me with a partially paralyzed right arm and chronic, ongoing pain. Such was the extent of the injury that I have been unable to practice sculpture – or so I believed.
Through the Epicormia Collective project, I have reconsidered and re-defined my boundaries as an artist and as a human being. Engaging with evolutionary theory taught to me that we are always in process and our resulting actions, deliberate or unconscious, as contingencies…very much an epicormic reaction.
I have discovered new ways or working and new ways of seeing not only my disability, but the world.
A large part of the process of making this work took me by surprise, though it was probably obvious to anyone observing…here I was spending dozens if not hundreds of hours carefully re-working these found bones. Carefully resurfacing them, applying layers of paint and then finally gilding and reconstructing them to a form of my design. How could I not have realised that this was a process of addressing and de-scribing my injury, my illness?
I began this project with mark-making. Tiny marks to build up complex and detailed landscapes of the body – I felt that this was all I was physically capable of doing. Now – I am working in a scale never attempted previously and have returned to sculpture, returned to my bodily practice.