Just before he died at the age of 94, my father gave me a box full of photographs that were taken in the early 20th century of family members from Rhodes, Greece. They immigrated to the U.S. and upon arrival, settled in steel towns such as Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and Weirton, West Virginia. The pictures documented immigrants acclimating to their new surroundings.
Were the photographs simply historical documents of my family or was the strong feeling they invoked more spiritual, almost otherworldly? My response to the photographs led me to create environments that include images, placed on both delicate and substantial materials, suspended within aluminum boxes. The photographs evoke the spirit of the Byzantine icon where the image provides the observer with a means of stimulating a meditation.
The installation, Ancestor Worship, is a fluid organism that takes the shape of the exhibition space it inhabits. Images and themes are wound around one another in circular compositions that repeat and resound in space. The space becomes a total environment in which the room functions as an opening into another world…not only historical but also spiritual.
In my sculpture, I explore nature. I use geometric and curvilinear shapes, made of aluminum, to focus on organic elements that surround my environment. The same is true in my collaborative work with painter Mary Antczak. Ms Antczak applies a polychromy to the metal that reflect the shapes of the aluminum.