Ladders as symbols of our connection with a higher power, or as vehicles of personal evolution, abound both in religious texts and in works of art from every culture. In this installation, loosely based on the Stations of the Cross, I use bamboo ladders as metaphors of our life journey. These I lean precariously against walls and dangle magically from the ceiling. Sheets of hand painted mono prints hang, rest, or are woven between the rungs. Carefully rendered images of people climbing steps and others of books and earthly belongings flying through space, invite the viewer upwards.
Vibrant colors physically envelop the viewer and back up the narration, in an almost liturgical fashion. In “He Meets His Mother”, the hot red background mirrors the drama of the infant falling from her lap; a peachy colored veil blissfully surrounds a woman who has almost reached the top (“At The Top, I, II”); In “Goal”, a radiant yellow background glows through the falling belongings of a teenager. A sea of green soothes the fallen player in “The Fall”, reminding him of nature’s renewal.
Empty plaster shells of discarded objects: cell phones books, soccer balls, blow dryers, laptops, shoes, coins and clothing are scattered at the base or are draped, abandoned on some lower rung, symbolizing how growth often occurs through loss. We shed our old skins, too tight anyway, to reach other levels. We leave lovers or are left by them, yet work through the pain and move on. Loss can sometimes happen violently, through illness and death, or more gradually, as we age and our physical abilities are impaired: our memories go, our knowledge is forgotten, our beauty fades. And as we discard these attachments, we loosen our material ties and are able to ascend to the next step of the ladder towards an unknown, but glorious destination.