About the Piece
Upon returning from
India in November of 2005 I felt very out of sorts for many months.
I just couldn’t quite get my bearings. I felt displaced and missed
India like my home. I felt very much in between stages of my life.
I felt on a profound level like I was leaving one stage of my life
and getting ready to enter another. I was questioning a lot of my
life and often felt like the ground underneath me had shifted
profoundly and I was trying to make sense of things. Also, I was
not able to make art for almost a year after returning from India.
It was very unsettling and painful for me.
My identity and
creative expression is rooted in sculpture. I found myself packing
up many of the items in my studio and was quite sure I would not be
making sculpture again. Gratefully, I did return to my studio and
this sculpture, Jana, was the piece that broke my visual silence.
As with many of my previous pieces I did not have a plan for the
I just started
pushing clay around on the stand in the later part of 2006. All I
knew was that I wanted to make a very large face. I was about half
way the piece and a friend visiting my studio in January of 2007
commented that the piece looked like the Goddess Jana. It suddenly
dawned on me that this piece perfectly reflected the space I had
been in for the past year.
The Goddess Jana
looks behind her to the passing year, and forward to the upcoming
year, just as I had been doing since my return from India. Even
before I knew that I had been sculpting Jana all along, I was very
certain that the “front” of the piece would be what most people
would consider as the side of the piece and that the two faces of
the women would be seen in profile. The face on the left stares
back on the past with a look of contemplative rest, the other looks
to the right gazes towards the future with and engaged and intense
My mother, the person
most in tune with my work, noticed that the gaze on the face looking
into the future seemed unfocused. I was going to change the
gaze so that it was more focused. However, mom suggested that
I keep it unfocused because we can never properly focus on the
future. And so, the side of Jana that looks towards the future
has the wide eyed, unfocused look as she boldly faces the uncertain future.