It is my belief that Art helps manifest what we truly long for and that it can help heal the world.
I became aware of the connection between art and healing as a student of Joseph
Campbell in the late 1960s. He inspired me to follow my dream of exploring the
relationship between archetype, art and healing.
My intention to help shift world consciousness towards peace became resolute in
1990 when I attended a week-long conference/retreat with Nobel Peace Prize
nominee, Thich Nhat Hanh. In 1991 I constructed The Tree of Life with 600 leaves made from the plaster hand-castings of people from all over the world. This sculptural installation suggested that we are all One, and able to
live in harmony and peace. In 1995 with a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, I created Earth, Air, Fire, Water: A Portrait of the People of Rhode Island, to show how we are One beneath our gender, ethnicity and culture.
The idea for The Globalheart Project came to me on February 14, 2003. As I sensed the tension of world conflict I felt a deep need to use my art to reconnect us to our longing for peace.
In a meditation that day I asked myself how I might do this. Slowly my heart grew warm and began to expand. In my mind's eye I saw the earth within it and felt the presence of many other people around me. Each of us had the globe within our hearts, but each of us was holding this globe in his or her unique way.
With excitement I went to my studio that day to create this vision of
the Globalheart into sculpture.
My work is based on collaboration. I create body casting portraits to help people reconnect to who they've always wanted to be. I work with individuals or groups as they face serious illness, personal crisis or simply wish to explore who they are. Images that sustain or block our true desires are addressed through the archetypal body casting process I've developed over the past twenty years. These images serve as the basis of the renewal and self-creation that the finished sculpture embodies.
Adopting these techniques to the Globalheart Project, I asked people,
"How do you express peace in your life? What is the unique gesture of your
longing for peace?"
Since February 2003 many people have come to be cast for this project. Each
represents thousands of others worldwide who hope for freedom, harmony and
justice for all. Each is unique. A woman offers food, a man plays the
guitar, and several people hug themselves in the realization that loving oneself is the key to loving others. There are 25 castings at a time in my studio, ready for exhibition. The castings that are sold are replaced by new ones, creating constant change.
The collaborative nature of this process has attracted other artists
who are adding sound, movement, and other art forms to the vision. The project now includes scheduled performances as well as exhibitions.
My intention as an artist is to suggest the possibility that creating peace in the world depends on how we create it within ourselves, in our own lives. My hope is that my art form helps us experience what this might feel and look like symbolically as we collaborate to manifest our dream of peace together.