The central idea to my concentration is the stages of life and how death is inescapable, no matter what a person does in their life. I chose this subject because it has personal meaning to me and it is also one of the great philosophical problems of human history, from the riddle of the Sphinx to memento mori images throughout the history of art. I used this reminder of death to show that each person can choose what they want to do with their life now.
The first part of my focus is to show the stages of life, seen in Time Part I, II, III,and IV, which show a close up of a person’s face paired with a portrait of their hands holding an object that is important to them at that stage in their life. To explore this idea of life and death together, I wanted to balance the presence of death with figures that are clearly in motion and full of life, best seen in Life, which depicts children playing along with words from a traditional Appalachian dirge about death. I also decided in some of my works to show people participating in activities that bring meaning to life, such as dance, art, and music, shown in Dance and Music. These two pieces are both very straight forward in showing these activities, while in Face I chose to show a number of portraits in a single work to illustrate the collective conscious and a sharing of ideas. I also used a telephone motif in some of my work to relate to this sharing of ideas, seen in images such as Telephone and Call. A final part of this idea of meaning in life is the idea of human interaction, seen in Rose and Gold Circle, which each show people interacting with each other, rather than the single figures in most of my other work.