In this body of work I explore the universal and daily rituals of personal adornment. I've traveled to many remote parts of the world and watched people of varied cultures all go through the same daily rituals of applying paint, paste, and mud to their faces; bedecking themselves with vegetation, animal bones and feathers; and submitting their bodies to piercing, tattooing, and scarification. Here in our own Western society our daily rituals are no different. By applying lipstick, grooming our hair, and adorning ourselves with jewelry we also take our place in this parade of humanity. Our outer "skin" is the envelope in which we deliver ourselves to the world, and the markings we make on it tell our stories.
The inspiration for my recent body of work comes from travel in south India. The most common sight was a woman surrounded by animals - goats, cows, or pigs; adorned in beads, metal work, and plant fiber; and carrying a huge load of something on her head. It could be a basket with a baby goat and chickens, or a stack of shiny silver water jugs, or a bundle of dried tobacco leaves.
Using these sights as a point of departure I wove together threads of these ideas and images to create hybrid life forms. The popular word "avatar" comes readily to mind. A Hindu word, it means incarnation, the release of a soul or divine entity into a bodily form.