In the artist’s own words
My work is grounded by geography, people, and circumstances. This most recent body of work was inspired by three weeks in Ireland in September of 2015. The Cill Rialaig Foundation, a Dublin based arts foundation, provided studio space in a 19th century settler’s cabin overlooking the Atlantic, on the western most point of Ireland (and therefore Europe). The view and ambiance was magnificent, but my reaction went beyond Ireland’s physical enchantment. My father’s family had emigrated to the United States during the “great famine” in the early 1800’s and landed in swampy sultry Louisiana flatlands.
This led me to the obvious question: what would drive a man or woman to leave such a magical place, cross a very dangerous ocean with little or no resources, to settle in a new unknown world that did not guarantee a better life? While mulling this thought one afternoon, as the vast ocean spread below my little house, I noticed a tiny boat with two fishermen. They looked very vulnerable. So an artistic leap occurred between small boats and vulnerability. With this metaphor in hand, I started rendering “boats”, specifically an Irish “curragh” (the Irish word for a type of fishing boat or a marsh).