During my work with clay and fire I have learnt a lot. I started very early on to experience the earth as a living entity,Gaia, and my torsos are very much a way of describing this. I sculpt the Goddess as I see her; as the land, the sea, forest and lakes. I combine the four elements; earth, fire, water and air in a deliberate ceremony to celebrate what I see as sacred. I use the plaster moulds as blank canvas’ to paint the Goddess in the most beautiful way that I can and my understanding of the Spirits increase as I work. They are very much involved.
We tend to only see what our culture, our education and our prejudices have trained us to see. I heard a true story when I was a child about how in 1520 when Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Terra del Fuego in South America, the Del Fuego Indians, who lived around the area, could not see his ships entering the bay – the boats were too big! Nothing in their past experience had prepared them for the idea that vessels could be as big as floating houses – they were used to canoes, and tiny canoes were the only reality for them.
I remember this story because it brought home to me how blinkered I am in ordinary reality, how I only see what I expect to see.
People born blind who later in life have successful operations to the eyes, enabling them to see, first experience nothing but spinning masses of lights and colours. They‘re unable to pick out specific objects in the chaos and so have to undergo long training to teach their brains how to digest this type of information. Seeing is learned rather than automatic. We censor what see with our minds, not our eyes, which is why I believe that changes to the way we think will change what we see.