My continued journey with nature and design has always been underlaid with a personal respect for the spiritual aspects of nature and Christian spirituality, thus for me it was natural to begin to incorporate natural dye and its spiritual properties into my art making. In addition, hand sewing to me is like counting the rosary. It is a way of meditation, a means of clearing my mind of worldly thoughts. It sometimes takes months to complete a single piece. Nevertheless, I enjoy the process of making it as much as the final product, as I hope to be a better person as I complete piece after piece.
The Gate of Heavenly Peace I & II
This series of work was inspired by the Emperor’s Gate at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. What intrigued me was the number symbolism in China that permeated people’s ordinary lives. I tried to integrate Chinese number symbolism with that of Christianity. In China, the number 9 is a sacred number reserved for the emperor’s use, and the number 3 is a sacred number in Christianity that indicates Yahweh the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The combination of 9 rows and 9 columns of 3″ cubes metaphorically represents a gateway to heavenly peace for Christians in China and the world.
Over the past several years, I have collaborated with my colleague Dr. Darden Bradshaw to create a series of liturgical banners for the Chapel of Immaculate Conception at the University of Dayton sponsored by Campus Ministry. We have completed four sets of banners for Lenten, Advent, Marianist, and Ordinary Time. Through this collaborative work, we have tried to make connections between earthly materials, Christian spirituality, and the Marianist Charism. The series of banners encompasses rich symbolism and metaphors as we make decisions on techniques, methods of construction, and materials.