Throughout my adult life, I’ve traveled extensively abroad, exploring the cultures, religions, and art of countless countries. I first visited the island of Bali in 1988, and was swept up in its beauty and inspiration. I discovered a culture where art is used as a vehicle to honor the mysteries of life and death. The island literally vibrated with creativity and as my deepest artistic callings were awakened, my love affair with Bali began.
Over time, my art and connection to Bali have become inseparable. I live in two worlds, the East and the West, with a strong foothold in each. My annual pilgrimages from my home in Mill Valley, California, to the “Island of the Gods” are on-going, and this union has grown and matured with the passage of time. What began as the fantasy of a romantic paradise has deepened into a loving, long-term relationship, which integrates and balances the light and dark sides of this unique island and its culture.
Bali has been my faithful teacher. It opens me to realities I had lost or previously only dreamed existed. Over the decades, its complexity never ceases to fascinate and engage me.
Early in my life as an artist, the conduit that allowed the creative force to come through me was narrow and constricted. It was through my relationship with the famous Balinese dancer and elder, Ni Ketut Cenik, that the flood gates burst open. She taught me about bringing aliveness to my art, where the God or Universal Spirit comes to reside within the sculpture. In Bali, this is called taksu. What begins as an inanimate object like clay or stone, now embodies the life force. The art that had previously only trickled out, began to flow freely though my hands, regardless of the medium. I was blessed with creative gifts far beyond anything I had hoped to experience in my lifetime. This opening has been one of Bali’s most precious gifts to me.
As a Westerner, I am still learning how to follow the nature, rather than trying to control it. Bali has taught me that the wisdom of the mystery is far greater than anything I can envision. A Western life focused on goals and accomplishments is worthy, but eventually we must open to a world beyond what we can see or imagine. To me, the creation of art is a gift and it remains a timeless experience. This labor of love beckons me into a state of humility and reverence, where I must trust I can see into the dark. Here is where I access the food for my soul.
It is with deep gratitude I share my art and journey with you, the viewer, in hopes it will awaken in you a sense of wonder, truth, and inspiration.