60x60 : portrait of an artist (2016)

This piece is the result of my reflection on preciousness and gratitude at the time that I turned 60. It is rooted in many different cross-cultural practices of offering thanks. The individual pieces, 3600 laser etched tokens, were designed in response to my interest in Tibetan prayer flags, Japanese shrines encrusted with wooden ema, and tiny metal Milagros left in church niches.

I am moved by the investment of hope, spirit and love embodied in offering objects. The shape of Norwegian and Portuguese fish drying racks influenced my thinking about creating a form on which to suspend my tokens. Sustaining rituals, repetitive, cyclical endeavors like the act of hanging thousands of fish in the sun and air to dry are very appealing to me. When I consider the preciousness of this resource, the fish, the attention to detail in the construction of the racks and the preparation of the fish, I feel sure that the routine embraces a meditative aspect that is akin to placing a token at a shrine site.

I have used the scent and texture of cedar wood and pine needles to powerfully evoke a sense of place within a man-made space. By muffling footsteps in the gallery, visitors can experience the space as a sanctuary and a place of solace and restoration.