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Portfolio: Mixed-Media Sculpture

Water is everywhere in New Orleans—above us, below us, in the very air we breathe. We look up at passing ships, imagining the unthinkable, and then sometimes it happens.  Mother Nature is always reminding us who’s in charge, but we rarely listen. My childhood was spent in coastal Alabama. On our farm the river would routinely overflow its banks and surge across the fields before receding again. In Mobile, my brother kept a canoe on our porch so that he could go see his friends when the neighborhood flooded. It was all very exciting as a child, and I have treasured memories of shrimping with my Dad, scuba diving with my parents, getting around by boats as a teenager. The familiar ebb and flow of water marks the cycles of my life. When I have dreams of flying, I am always in a boat.

On a different level, the mythology of the boat resonates within me.  The boat is frequently the vessel for transporting the soul. Egyptians barques ferrying the dead to their afterlife, funerary longboats carrying Norse warriors out to sea for the last time, and soul ships of the Irian Jaya are just a few of the iconic vessels that inspire me.

I once met a woman who had been with the photographer Minor White as he died.  His last words were, “I have to go now, there’s a small boat waiting.”