Waiting for the Ships to Come In
This assemblage reflects various aspects of a European immigrant’s journey to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The light blues of this piece are designed to instill a feeling of hope.
The tarot card references political oppression such as the pogroms. The locks symbolize lack of social immobility and economic opportunity in “the old country.” The photo of my mother’s childhood globe and a time clock represent the need to travel far long distances. Approaching the shore is represented by the two pictures of the sailing ships. The blocks of letters on the cart symbolize the need to learn the local language and customs upon arrival (viewed from above, the visible letters spell “English”). The seating area represents those who arrived alone and await the arrival of their families. The two keys attached there unlock the possibilities denied by the locks above.
Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages.
The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.
Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.
As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.