According to geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, place is, "a center of meaning constructed by experience." The meaning of place to me is one of collection and projection. My goal is to create works that serve as centers of meaning based on my personal experience. This experience is a vast web of connections; connections of people, ideas, events. Connecting these things is possible because they each "took place." Everything has occurred in a place, and that place, in turn, has taken those entities and circumstances as constituent parts of its own meaning.
These places provide seemingly concrete settings for my memories and my desires. Indeed, not all of the connections I am concerned with are experiences I have had, but those for which I yearn. Analogous to my unforgotten past and unlived future, these memories and desires reflect my view of myself, my identity. By celebrating my connection to a specific location I project myself into the history and meaning of that place. I become a part of that place, either in the collective memory of others who experienced it with me or in my own mental landscape. I also collect the meaning of the place into my identity. The essence of the place becomes a part of me.
Location in and of itself does not contain the collected meaning of a place. Meaning also resides in the inhabitants, the buildings, the view, in the decisions made, the stories told, the time gone by. Objects also gather these place-meanings. Through experience, the significance of a locality can be imparted to a building, a car, a sign, a monument, a spoon, a shard. As an object-maker, the nature of the materials and processes I use contain meaning just as their form and composition do.
My goal is to take the various meanings from places into myself, to create my own centers of meaning, and to express my identity in terms of the places to which I am connected and in turn which connect me to the various people, events, and ideas that have made me who I am.
I am an object maker. I am a metalsmith. I am a sculptor.
I am a space shaper. I am a meaning giver.
I am a place maker.