The figure is us. In the most minimal marks we see the shape of our world – dark ground, light sky – and ourselves in it – circle of face, upright body. “Standing” means us and the things we build.
When I strip away clothing and hair, with their signals about gender and class, I have a powerful basic symbol to work with. When I depict figures as I see them around me, I get the same symbolic power with the weight of culture added. When I create an imagined figure I have a symbol of the Self removed to a perspective that moment-to-moment living can’t access.
It’s the power of the symbol that fuels my play with it. Such a rich resource – the smallest gesture of the body or face is full of meaning for us. This is the material I use to make a new connection between myself (physically, emotionally and intellectually) and the physical and social world around me. This is my understanding of art-making and the capability it offers us for understanding our world and communicating with each other.