go to Sculptures – Peter, for the full set on Flickr.
I have been exploring social constructs, especially how they are illusions masking more complex realities. In general, to think anything is ‘black & white’ is an illusion. Even the traditional yin-yang to me is inaccurate in that it appears as a closed system, where white and black are separated from each other. So how do I explore this?
In my diorama works, the family – two-dimensional as portrayed by simplistic ideologies often found in advertising and mass media programming. But, as the context shows, to imagine ‘family’ exists separate from the messy real world is an illusion. The falsity of the illusion is symbolized in the second diorama by that same family by the side of an empty road, without agency, waiting with thumb out to take a ride in someone else’s illusion of reality.
In making my chess works, I was meditating on the cycle of life and death and the place of conflict. The mother of queens shows the battering of a long life, but with strength and dignity; the young queen and king are seeing a different reality. On the boards, youth posture and fights, imagining all is black and white. But their illusions float on a sea of blood, and every in conflict everyone loses.
In my yin-yang works I first opened the symbol by removing the enclosing circle. The divide between the yin and yang becomes yin and yang, and the enclosed pure circle of the opposite is replaced by slag and coral – products of our messy world. In the second, bronze piece, the pure form is populated by us in all our confusion and complexity.
Then there’s youth and age in one, evoking samsara, regeneration, persistence and endurance – take your picks.