Through the Keratin Series, I am creating my own symbiosis- my own species- that has evolved by paring down visual information to get to essential visual and symbolic connections between animal and human forms. My drawings and sculptures spawned from various influences including the theories and discovery associated with Symbiogenesis, the hairstyles donned by women represented through Roman portrait sculpture and the animal remains I have collected over a lifetime on various excursions, including hikes in England through the Yorkshire Moors and in Ireland across the bogs of Connemara.
This series developed as I imagined a world in which cellular mutations happen on a large scale to tangible and recognizable organisms. The corkscrew of a sheep horn twists into the tower of curls of an elite woman from the Flavian era. Glossy rows of plaited hair wrap delicately around a rough horn’s well-defined grooves and ridges. These juxtapositions of hair and horns are made harmonious through intricate interweaving and placement- they come into being by living together. Taking cues from the hairstylists of Ancient Rome, braids are sewn, woven and wrapped around their animal appendages. Forms and gestures are informed by creatures who inhabit or infest habitats on land or at sea. These surrealistic configurations express aspects of symbiotic relationships and elevate the common elements that bind us; in this case keratin and melanin, and the fact that we are all made of the same gore.