In 1985 I developed a technique to make metal sculpture using explosives. This unique process, which I call Detonography, allows me to make large scale, monumental sculptures with intricate, complex details on the surface. The result is artwork that people can enjoy up close or from a distance.
My pieces are site-specific: I always consider the area, the community, and the space provided for the sculpture when I design my work. I have created more than forty pieces of public art for institutions of various kinds around the country. My pieces can be made to fit in almost any space, and in the past they have included hanging, freestanding and wall reliefs.
Detonography serves as a technological conceptualization of the philosophical ideas, which has been a continuing source of inspiration for me. Creation, dissolution, the earth, the universe, the relationship between human beings and the natural world – all of these themes – have been the major focus of my work. I have found a way of mirroring these interests in the way in which the sculpture is actually made. By forming, etching and welding within the blast itself, I have been able to build up rich textured surfaces almost like giant jewelry. I also incorporate fabricated metal in my work to create more three-dimensional free – standing sculpture. I have been working with architects and planners to create fully realized environments in which the sculptures live and interact with their audiences.
I had been a painter and printmaker for 25 years, but this new medium still has me enthralled. The final result has a unique look. Looking at it you wouldn’t know it was exploded because the effect is very controlled. I like the idea of taking a destructive force and using it to make something that I think is beautiful. I find it to be a very feminine expression, like giving birth. You take a very messy, chaotic, and frightening process and come out with a marvelous result.