I was raised in Lancaster. My father was a test pilot and later became an engineer in the aerospace industry, working to land a man on the moon. As a young child we would walk to the end of our street, which dead-ended at the edge of the desert to watch the X-15 coming in for a landing after skirting the edge of the atmosphere. It was here that the first philosophical musings arose in my young mind. When I stood on the pavement of our street I was in ‘civilization’, but by simply stepping over the edge onto the desert sand, I was back in ‘nature’ among the road runners, jack rabbits, horny toads and kangaroo rats that were my companions on my excursions into the wilds…
For many years I have been developing a vocabulary of forms that seeks to articulate through images and metaphors, the mystery and history of life on earth and of our collective life of mind.
To look is to dream, to see clearly is a way to engage our imagination, our curiosity and our intrinsic need to understand. From the simple act of creating a lens with which we can glimpse the stars, Galileo changed forever the understanding of our place in the universe and opened the imagination to worlds never before conceived. In 1665 Robert Hooke’s illustrated book Micrographia, brought the horror and beauty of the hidden microscopic world to us and opened our minds to new ways to understand our selves.
I look long and carefully at my subjects: orchids, lichens, corals, pollen and seeds; biological life forms that capture my imagination through their complex designs and compelling architectures, which over the years have become metaphors for the history of life on earth and of our consciousness. Our ‘selves’ are not what we once thought; discrete entities contained within skin, muscle and sinew. We are like a coral reef swelling with life forms; microorganisms that existed long before humans arrived on the earth, helping us to digest food, breathe, live and affecting our thoughts and emotions.
In my newest works I have included the mapping of ‘Dark Matter’, which was a theoretical embarrassment to Einstein (the un-resolvable conundrum of his ‘cosmological constant’) when I was born and was given credence 20 years ago when a group of Italian scientists believed that they had found a way to discern it. It is now seen in part as a gravitational structure that is web-like: ordering and organizing galaxies into clusters-- an invisible lattice structuring the known universe.