At the end of February in 2020, my family and I were on our way home from an incredible trip to Sedona to see one of my sculpture idols, John Soderberg. I remember hearing about this flu that was raging in China and that it may eventually come to the United States. Little did I know it would devastate populations all over the planet and that we would be locked down for over 2 years when we got home.
I began creating the face of this piece working with John in Sedona. At first it was just my father's face. I spent the following 2 years designing the rest of the piece as a representation of my love for my family. The portrait itself is my father. He's an amazing, charismatic, loving man. I couldn't be a luckier daughter to have him and my mother as my parents. In this piece, my mother is represented by the lilies and jasmine as well as being the queen chess piece that holds our family up. My mom is the strongest woman I've known and she's where I get all of my determination and drive. My brother is represented by the chess aspect as well as one of the birds flying above the tree. He was a chess champion when we were kids and although he doesn't play much anymore, we share a love of strategic games and chess is the ultimate example of that. The spiral staircase represents our journey as a family to always strive to do better and grow together. The tree is the actual tree that was outside my studio in Davenport when I was creating this piece. It's representative of my family outside of blood. My community has become family and I couldn't possibly create this piece without including them. This tree was a central part of our neighborhood. Our landlord actually cut it back when I was designing this and some of my neighbors and I were nearly brought to tears. It was so hideous and hard to look at. This beautiful willow had transformed into a chopped up mess of bare branches. Over the 2 year pandemic, it started to grow back and it was a reminder that sometimes although pruning is harsh and ugly and scary it allows you to grow back stronger and even more glorious than before.
Dimensions: 28" tall x 14" wide x 14" long
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