It's 36 x 36 inches, created with hand sculpted (carved and burned) yupo paper, alcohol inks and pins on canvas.
To make this style of art, I start off creating my alcohol ink abstracts on yupo paper, just like I always do. I then carve out holes and burn the edges using a soldering iron - a tool that has been in my house since my early engineering days. I then arrange these pieces to form exquisite patterns using pins, play with light and shadow to convey messages of community and collaboration through my art.
I used pins and not glue or tape because I wanted to convey a very deep seated message of connection. Collaboration isn’t easy, it takes effort. There’s an African saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”
The process of burning and cutting pieces out might seem destructive but to me it has the significance of getting rid of the sugar coating and talking about the darkness within us. The holes signify our weakness, maybe even the characteristics we aren’t so proud of, the vulnerabilities, the cracks, the not so awesome parts of us. These holes in our personalities are the ones that create dark shadows but they are also the ones that let light through. And when they come together, they bring about massive storms of change. Let’s also recognize that the dark can’t exist without the light and the holes can’t exist without whole pieces. The parts of us that do fall into line, that do live up to society’s expectations, that do look beautiful, that are colorful, happy and peaceful. Each piece is a person. We have our distinct colors, values, qualities, awesome-nesses, not so awesome-nesses, but let’s recognize that we are similar after all. We are more alike than we are different. And our common human connection ties us together. When we celebrate our similarities and honor our differences we can create a unique shared experience for us, individually and the species as a whole.
Let’s support each other in a nurturing community. Let’s live fully with purpose and a bright light within us. Let’s support each other in moments of weakness and cheer when we are brave and strong. Let’s cry but also laugh fully and even capture this creatively. Let’s fill our hearts and lives with adventure, art and love. Let’s bring about connection, together.