Funeral Art

Many feel a need to connect with those who have died. For some people, this means nothing. For others it means everything. The need itself is as visceral and ancient as wearing the bones of your last meal. Cultures, like individuals, vary greatly in the manner and degree to which they support, or forbid, ritual practices toward these ends. Typically you will find objects that tell the stories of someone’s life placed on a mantle piece over a fireplace. This generic convention is not a metaphor or sentimental reminiscence of an ancient practice. It is the practice itself. As a species we memorialize.

I have responded to the need to communicate with deceased loved ones through my work from the beginning of my practice. The need grew out of events in my early life and eventually became part of the way I think about objects and object making in the broadest sense. First these works took on the feeling of portraits, and then they became places, and finally portals. I make these kinds of things, “funerary art,” for all kinds of people, often strangers. They are needed and I find that to be deeply satisfying.