Screen Capture

My goal was to present an array of selected images in a way that would broadcast (in this case, literally) some of the happiest moments of her special day, hence the vintage televisions. Additionally, the sets are branded as “ERICKSON,” after the groom’s surname. The expansive field and treeline reflect the couple’s living on the prairies of rural Manitoba and their mutual love of the woods respectively. Capping things off is a moody sky that becomes more brilliant and warm as it nears and embraces the happy couple as they embrace and find safety, light, and warmth in each other.

Alex In Wonderland

This is my cousin’s daughter Alex: intelligent, confident, resilient, and brash. I was fortunate enough to acquire a graduation picture of her that captured these qualities towards fabricating a concept depicting her deeper instincts, character, history, and manner of being on both a mundane and esoteric level. To begin, a railway stop labeled “VENUS” (ruling planet of her birth sign) featuring a clock reading “4:21” (Alex’s birth month and day) while the “Emerald Lines Platform No. 3” stenciled on the end of the platform references her birthstone and ruling number. Pictured in Alex’s right hand are poppies (her birth flower), and in her left, “talking feather” (to honour her Métis heritage). The luggage embodies her want of independence, expansion, and growth while the haloed, horned tattoo on her right leg evokes both birth sign and her maternal grandmother’s fond pet name: “Angel Babe.” The lone dragonfly acknowledges her love of nature, independence, and, of course, dragonflies. As for the richer significance of the illustration, the limitlessness of Alex’s courage, imagination, and desire are rendered by way of numerous visual references. Specifically, her dangling her feet over the edge of an airborne train platform floating high within an ominous—yet optimistic—bank of clouds in recognition of both the light and dark aspects of one’s life journey. Finally, a weathered, rudderless boat suspended from the bottom of two hot-air balloons attests to her imagination and open-mindedness. To this end, we see Alex as the adventuresome captain of her own destiny. One might very well ask of it all, “Has she just arrived, or is she off to some other exotic, unknown destination?”

If you know Alex, you know the answer.
Bearing Strait

A few years ago, I received a rather enigmatic statue of a polar bear from a friend of mine. I was struck by its linear geometry and I immediately, intuitively associated its form with the infamous moai seen on Easter Island as carved by the ancients that once lived there. I photographed and arranged pictures of the sculpture (which, in real life, only stands about 12 inches tall) in the fashion of equally notable depictions of the mystical stone heads on the island. To this end, the composition of the illustration evokes feelings of familiarity and plausibility by way of size, composition, and perspective among those familiar with Rapa Nui and its iconic landscape. Imagine then, walking into the valley of such gods who ruled—and continue to dominate—the north: a temple of nature, towering above all. To discover it is to succumb. Standing, perhaps, for thousands of years, these sentinels are the only thing remaining of the civilization that placed them here, as if to bath in some cosmic spa teeming with the plankton and possibilities of the universe that brought everything to this very moment.
Judge of Character

Jung famously advocated the position that we all possess a “shadow”: a dark, inseparable aspect of our personality that represents everything we refuse to acknowledge in ourselves and has us project our perceived personal inferiorities as perceived moral deficiencies in others. Put another way, we are prone to deny the faults in our own personalities by displacing them. Hence the “Jekyll and Hyde” scenario featuring the semi-accusatory, aware, and somewhat empathetic look on the face of a young girl as she projects her own psychic umbra, courtesy of the intruder lurking in the doorway of her consciousness. In the background, a matronly figure peers out from behind a wall as an analogue for the curious—and perhaps self-righteous—others who might deny their own negative tendencies. Or, it might be that the protagonist is in fact the woman’s projection of her own corrupted sense of virtue. Whatever you make of the issue (or the illustration), it remains that none of us are without some murky corner that could use a little more light towards acknowledging the best in ourselves, and others.

Back in 2007, I created a picture of a lion tamer wielding a whip at a television set broadcasting the image of a tiger as a cynical commentary on so-called “reality TV”. Unfortunately, I didn’t build the image at a resolution that would allow me to do anything with it beyond displaying it on-screen. Thus, I reimagined the concept with a different—more dire—premise. In this case, a young, vulnerable, and impressionable swimmer is caught without the luxury of separation between his world and the two-dimensional peril he is watching. Bathed in the same medium, predator and prey now inhabit a shared environment in real-time and real-life. There is no cutting to commercial or changing the channel in order to dominate, delay, or avoid the danger here. I mean, after all, sharks are generally more interested in their next meal rather than inciting ratings bonanzas or pausing for station identification and/or airtime for corporate sponsors.
Martini Atoll

A few months ago, I discussed the idea of creating a “neo-vintage” advertisement for a fictional brand of vodka with a dear friend of mine. Upon hearing the details of my plan, she uttered “Go retro: The future is uncertain.” I was instantly drawn to the quirky logic, subtle satire, and thematic possibilities of her impromptu declaration. To wax psychology a moment, we often embrace the future to escape the pull of our turbulent pasts. My cohort’s thesis, on the other hand, encourages the mitigation of prospective chaos by revisiting the simpler pleasures of a previous time. I thus arrived at the idea of an Atomic Age beach-goer lounging in a deck chair, oblivious to the tumultuous and inexorable waves of history and time licking at her heels. The title of the piece derives from “Bikini Atoll” where many nuclear detonations were conducted between 1946 and 1958, hence the era. On the horizon, waterspout of the product spins a limitless supply of her favoured libation (complete with ice cubes) from the lake below. As idyllic a scenario this may be, one must acknowledge the latent hazards of constant comfort lest they drown in the temptation of excessive pleasure, retreat, and denial. Then again, there is much about 2020 I myself would rather forget, at least until the next round.
The Last Paladin

Like some noble, embattled, and defiant archangel of Eden, a lone winged polar bear guards what remains of the natural world she inhabits as a metaphorical warning about the ever-impending fragility of her own species (and our own, as connoted by the inuksuk in her paws) when it comes to matters of climate change and environmental guardianship. On an artistic note, the brightness of the image is intended to counter any figurative or literal attempt to avoid or dismiss these issues by attributing them to dark science and/or inexplicable mystery. In this scenario, all potential shadows of doubt are removed and one is forced to confront their reflection in the eyes of our protagonist. There is simply no ignoring her—nor her cause—whatever the time of day. The alarm clock has gone off, and the snooze button has long been since rendered inoperable. It is time to wake up. 
Surface Tension

Are you witnessing the denial of a goal, or the prevention of a potentially fatal accident? Is the tendon of fabric that binds our weightless dreamer a restraint, or is it in fact a lifeline? One could argue that she is being suspended above water she desperately needs to quench a nightmarish thirst. It might also be that the tether is meant to impede her unwitting approach to a potentially hostile shore. The push and pull of equally plausible ideas upon a singular concept generates constant tension in real life just as it does in art. And so, contemplation can lead to a form of resistance that would have us reject or accept some notions more than others, often leaving no one completely “right” or “wrong.” To wit, it is my guess that many of you initially thought that the woman in the picture was being held back from the safety of dry land (or spared drowning in the icy lake beneath her): yet another tensile possibility, borne of inverting the basic terms of the dangers suggested at the outset of this summary.

Your move...
Dune Boogie

Decades beyond its life expectancy, a dilapidated radio from a bygone age glows alive with the sounds of its era, courtesy of a latter-day transmission tower. Here—as is often the case elsewhere—music comprises a temporal conduit that transcends and unites time and technology to foster as much enjoyment of its substance in the present tense as when it was first created. The sentiment of this philosophy ultimately manifesting in the enthusiasm and happiness of the two dancers who, although borne of a more recent generation, still derive immense enjoyment from the old standards, as if time ceased to crawl forward, thwarted by force of nostalgia alone.        
Manor of Being

After wandering the floors of a seemingly abandoned mansion, a young girl discovers a hall festooned with a rich tapestry of actors and articles depicting the elemental dimensions of her life: birth, childhood, play, love, imagination, spirituality, mirth, fear demise, and death. Greeting her like some entombed spectre is the towering mistress of the house who—without eyes of her own—detects and beckons her guest to the balustrade at the top of the stairs so that she might witness the competing horizons of her burgeoning life. While her countenance is as disarming as it is disturbing, the estate’s sole-custodian comes across as a largely sympathetic figure. There is a sense of loneliness about her, perhaps borne of some centuries-old regret and/or loss that has since bound her to this place. It is a destiny complemented by her apparent fate of personifying the dire consequence of one’s inability to confront and reconcile their past difficulties as a matter of realizing a more promising future free of heartache and limitation–the forlorn cautionary tale of blind hesitation, self-denied dreams, and lost desires.  

Hovering upon the Zen of their consciousness, a group of monks travel to an unknown destination from an equally unknown origin.

What’s your destination?
Flooding The Market

Editorial narrative concept focused on the dystopian impact of excess oil supply on petroleum-centric cities and economies. 
Brain Trust

Two wooden mannequins with no minds of their own gingerly handle the brain of their creator, careful not to let it fall to its ruin on the concrete platform below. On one level, the illustration can be taken as a metaphor for the clumsiness of our bodies as compared to the nimble nuances of thought; a narrative on the sharing and transfer of ideas; or perhaps a commentary on sports-related injuries. On another, it can be seen as an act of rescuing one’s psyche from a repressed fear, nightmare, or some other injurious emotional episode, represented here by a vigilant shark swimming in deep, murky waters only a few feet away. Whatever you make of the concept, there is no disputing the fact our brains (and the notions, functions, and motions they facilitate) demand physical and psychological care and protection whenever possible.
Tone Deaf

Surrounded by the implements and remnants of an earlier cherished age, a decaying archangel struggles with the gravity of surrendering its relevance, legacy, and place amongst the aging modes of contact that once validated, sustained, and fulfilled its soul. Empty picture frames litter the floor, languishing as the skeletal remains of a once rich and demanding craft that has since succumbed to the widening gyre of a selfie-absorbed mindset were the worth and significance of a memory is so often valued in terms of upvote-driven narcissism rather than the originating experience that urged its capture. Along the wall hang dilapidated and decommissioned payphones that recall a simpler time when telecommunication offered the promise and enjoyment of emotional depth, awareness, and clarity best facilitated by verbal contact and interaction, now so disrupted and diminished by the one-dimensional convenience of modern-day text messaging. All the while, tentacles fibre optic cable drag our champion ever closer to the darker depths of a “brighter” future, denying its voice in the binary pool of its own despair…but not before it delivers one last analogue communique as a dying testament to the tactual pleasure and finesse of a finely crafted letter, the spattered ink of life bled out and long since dried.

Hello? It’s for you…
One Night Only

This is my father Bill, who, in a younger day, played lead guitar in a 1960s Winnipeg garage band called “The Quid.” The concept depicts him leaving (or perhaps reporting in for) yet another gig at a once popular teenage hangout called “The Twilight Zone” where the band got its start. His expression is one of happiness: the life of a musician always looking to entertain those who made the effort to come see him perform, no matter how agreeable (or, in this case, inclimate) the weather. Conversely, his smile might also reflect a certain measure of relief and pride: that pure, knowing satisfaction of having lived and flourished in the element of one’s calling and the commensurate freedom to explore other interests upon its completion.
Twin Peeks

High up in some mountain range, a mountaineer is greeted by two benevolent infant “deities” of a seemingly timeless persuasion. Their age, how they got there—and how long they have been there—is a mystery beyond comprehension. Are they ancient guardians of some mystic ridge? Born of some goddess or another? Visitors from another space and time? Good or evil? Only they know for sure. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that our—or any other—climber will ever learn the truth as, if human development is any indication, the two youngsters are, for the time being, only capable of babbling their secrets.
Stream of Consiousness

A Maasai tribesman reaches up to hold the encroaching moon in place over the sun and in so doing, reveals what cannot be seen—yet remains ever-present—in broad daylight. Reflected in the pool beneath him like some mystical emulsion, the Milky Way and Universe unfurls, glowing like a cosmic film of bioluminescent plankton. To wade into the shallows is to step deeply into the past and present at the same time and know oneself in the place of it all forever. But one must act quickly, for time becomes increasingly fleeting, precious, and rare as it moves forward, like the eclipse that produces the celestial shadow that races across the face of the Earth to deny us light while producing it in the darkest paths of our lives towards our fulfillment.
Le Man(s) and Machine

When I was 10 years-old, I first made the acquaintance of my Uncle Ben, seen here posing with his mint-condition 1972 Pontiac Luxury Lemans: the chariot of his soul. I was instantly enamoured by the car’s curvature, asymmetry, and colour from the start and had the honour of a ride in it as a youngster. Here we see him on some remote rural lane of his youth, having braved the violence of a prairie storm so common to his experience. In the field behind him, a trio of antennas representing his wife and two daughters stand tall as beacons of his humanity, soul, and purpose: dependable and steadfast signposts of his legacy and personage guiding a safe way home throughout all manner of weather and turbulence, visible over the horizon of his own travels and travails. And like that which calls him home, he is secure in, with, and by the manner of his transport: that sleek and dependable vehicle of his continued dreams.

Created to celebrate Force Ten Design’s 20th Anniversary, this concept expresses a simple yet profound perspective on the fluidity of time, the transience of life, and that which we create. Here, a tangible product of time and effort (an hourglass made of ice) lists, melts, and crumbles under a hot desert sun as a matter of foretelling the passage of its era. In doing so, it provides the raw material necessary (i.e., water) towards the creation of a monument to celebrate a new age.

Fleshed out by her conscience, the dark shadow of our heroine’s past confidently—and fatally—bounds forward into a clearing of its own demise. He did not expect to find her here, nor does he expect to leave. With no pack of lies to defend him, there is no other option than to accept the inevitable. This is a matter of honour, not a needless kill. The arrow has but one destiny, as do they all. The image is also intended to comprise an allegory for domestic abuse.
Nature’s Playground

Alone in nature, a young girl swings on an arch of ages in contemplation and celebration of her youth and the world around her; each pass bringing her—and the arch itself—one moment closer to both the future and the past.

In this scene, a young infant finds security enough to sleep upon the back of a falcon as it whisks her away to more tranquil skies. Here, the bird represents strong and sure guidance through the turbulence of life. This sense of navigation, mission, and skill is afforded added gravity by way of the fact that the wall of clouds looming in the background is, in actuality, the eyewall of a hurricane. To this end, the narrative is not quite complete, for we—like the falcon; like the infant—often find ourselves blessed with transient periods of calm in the eyes of our own emotional fronts before and after we puncture the high-velocity winds of experience that try our own ability to spread our own wings and rise above it all. In the end, we are both child and falcon, looking for safe passage towards survival and achievement, and a way to provide it.

High above the reach of a distant mountain range north of reality, three intrepid youngsters join each other in a shared dream of adventure and camaraderie. Tethered to their “ballune” (a hybrid of the words “balloon” and “lune,” the French word for “moon”), their range, access, and altitude is rendered virtually limitless where the proximity of the Earth below is concerned. In the fading light of day, our trio navigates the spine of the Milky Way like some celestial path towards the embedded unknowns of their quest, like a rendezvous with that dragon on the far horizon. Or, it may be that they are sailing for home, aloft on the currents of dawn, laden with a cache of stories to share in their waking lives. Either way, it all begs a profoundly simple, yet impactful question: “Where would you like to go tonight?”
Short Circuit

In the distance, a menacing storm synapses with the Earth, pressing our ostensibly disadvantaged cyclist to cross the finish line ahead of her reptilian competitor. Who will win: the storm, the tortoise, or the athlete? Nature has a way of compressing the odds and shortening the circuit against those who are ill-equipped to recognize and cope with the sheer force(s) of her personality and so, we run (or ride) the risk of losing to the facts and factors of life we thought we had so well-in-hand—by our own hand—in what limited time and track we have.
Sister Station

Here, two sisters stand alongside a dilapidated telephone booth in an abandoned factory powered by a distant windmill. The booth—by way of its weathered appearance and continued functionality—represents an enduring mutual sense/point of identity, connection and communication between the two women. The windmill symbolizes a shared landmark of identity as such a structure comprises a prominent historical feature of their home town (Steinbach, Manitoba). The “serial number” stencilled on the right door denotes the town's telephone exchange code and the birth years of each sibling with “1966” expressed as a squared exponent. The doors of the factory feature images of the two women as adolescents for added nostalgia. Finally, the field beneath a stormy prairie sky speaks to the rural locale of the sisters’ upbringing and describes a siblingship able to withstand all manner of adversity at any point in their lives: a nuance of confidence, stability, and security accentuated by the expression of serenity on their faces..
Acid Reign

Two young souls look upon each other as curious species in an effort to appreciate and understand the consequence of preserving the fragile balance between progress and nature. The young girl behind the glass wonders how anyone might endure such a toxic and dystopian existence while her counterpart imagines the pleasure of a life unencumbered by waste suits and the constant fear of her environment. The image highlights the fundamental difference between living and existing and asks that we contemplate just what it is we are doing to the world around us, and how our actions—large or small, good or bad—will either preserve and expand the happiness and bounty of our lives, or constrict it by hastening our mortality, and that of every other living thing on the planet.
Dear Leigh, Departed

A young woman traveller surveils a barren landscape wearing a curious, contemplative (if not wholly surreal) air of relaxed satisfaction whilst the plane that brought her there sails off to another destination. Is she fulfilling some lifelong pursuit of adventure and solitude? Is it a wish-fulfilment dreamscape depicting a long-awaited liberation from the manacles of an abusive relationship? Or is she in fact some antichrist-like figure scouting out a new territory in which to establish a fresh hell on Earth? The caption itself maintains boasts an enigmatic property along these lines. For example, it could be taken as the opening line of a goodbye letter, a reference to her death, or a simple statement of mind in the context of sanity or hysteria. Whatever the suggestion in terms of optics and title, our subject seems pleased with her surroundings to our ultimate curiosity: points of interest that seemingly render us all the more curious to ourselves. Also, those keen of eye will notice that the serial number on the plane (CUL8TR) reads phonetically as “see you later”: a last jab sentiment shared by our subject when it comes to the abandonment of her past.
High Hopes

Here, a young girl suspends herself high above the Earth by way of a favoured playground amusement. Aloft in the carefree, boundless, and rarified atmosphere of childhood, she surveys the horizon of her future; secure and buoyed by the love and enthusiasm of those who have her best interests at heart. The illustration—and its message—is made that much more enigmatic by way of an optical illusion that sees the nearer pole of the monkey bar appear further off in the distance: a flair for the impossible so seemingly appreciable and accessible to the young…and sometimes so irrevocably lost to the wages and woes of adulthood.
Dreamer's Causeway

A youngster wakes and walks into the life of her dreams to be greeted by her fondest wish: the benevolent gaze of her nocturnal guardian come to life. Each looks at the other with wonder and welcome, anticipating the adventures to be had in a place of mind where anything can happen
Life Support

An older man tends to the dilapidated machinery of his soul in the vast and empty field of his existence for some unknown purpose. Is the scene a literal metaphor about the preservation of one’s physical life toward the end of their days, or is it a comment about staving off the consumptive panic, despair, and decay of regret for not having done enough with the time he was given? Or, is his effort and condition borne of a want to preserve the now-fragile pulse of romance that once thrived within him, so choked by the callus of fear and cynicism of past loves, injurious or not? Fighting by whatever means available to him to defy that which would defeat him, he survives to savour the pains of his inaction towards the resurrection of some previous life.

A child wanders amongst a series of enormous gyroscopes, perhaps contemplating the fragility of the balance and rotation of her own life. Indeed, we all spin for a while, only to succumb to the gravity of mortality, spent of momentum and time.
Spelling Flee

Here we find our subject doing his best to get away from some “phonetic phantasm” of Freudian proportions in the spirit of a common, archetypal manifest dream of academic insecurity. Well, that or some unseen infant of gargantuan proportions has just tossed their toys to the Earth out of frustration or want of play.
Writer's Block

It happens to us all, no matter our profession: those cognitive upsets that result in creative inertia to the detriment of our ambitions, and in some cases, the detriment of the world. Negotiating a free path to the momentum and answers we seek depends upon how far we can back away from the problem itself. Our protagonist cannot see the road forward because of his close proximity to the difficulty at hand. But if he-and we- ease up on the immediacy of our perspective, we stand a better chance of seeing a way around ourselves. Absent that, we are only able to project our own frustrations and muddled thoughts on the obstacles before us.
Running Out of Time

Deep in the dunes of a sun-baked desert, a young soul negotiates a thicket of clocks towards some destination or another, but for what purpose? Is she trying to avoid the end of summer? Running from the prospect of old age in some death-defying sprint? Trying to escape the beginning of an ozone-depleted ultraviolet ecological nightmare spawned by ecological malfeasance? As with all things artistic, we take away—or run away from—that which we bring to them. Either way, time is not on our side in delaying the inevitable.

Here, a lone dreamer has either just escaped the wonder (or terror) of some world beneath the pond, or is, perhaps, the child of some reality he hopes to leave behind by exploring depths of some personal unknown. Either way, the image compels us to contemplate the subtle boundary between the beginning of one world and the end another. And, to some extent, question just who exactly is the “fool” in all of it: Those who leap into the depths of and for adventure, or the ones who climb out of it?
Little Dread Riding Hood

Here, we see famed heroine Red Riding Hood leaving her grandmother’s house in what appears to be a sinister reversal fortune. In short, it seems that Red, along with her former nemesis (and newfound ally), the Wolf has just dispatched—rather than saved—her grandmother from mortal peril. It is a scenario made all-the-more plausible in light of Red’s ghoulish ability to hover—and cast the shadow of—some scythe-wielding wraith looking to collect a soul…and the lifeless arm resting on the bed in the room behind.
The Last Paladin

Like some noble, embattled, and defiant archangel of Eden, a lone winged polar bear guards what remains of the natural world she inhabits (symbolized by the “last tree on Earth”). At the same time, she tenderly "cradles” humankind (connoted by the Inuksuk in her paws) in a charitable effort to protect ourselves from ourselves.
Twist Of Fates

A re-interpretation of Greek mythology that sees the famed "Three Fates" bound by the very ropes of mortality they dispense, measure, and cut as a matter of determining the destiny of us mere mortals. (Yes, all that work just to use a clever play on words!)
Surface Tension

Like the gymnast pictured herein, we often find ourselves using the deftest of means to skip, stride, and somersault atop the fragile membranes of our own lives. Still, no matter our skill and intention, we all leave ripples in the lives of others: a hallmark of our humanity, spread forth for the want of an earnest way towards the safety and stability of more stable emotional shores. This description brought to you by the letter "s."
Long Distance

Who among us has never encountered the instance of feeling so far removed from loved ones, those who tried to love us, and the alienation of trying to retrieve love as a matter of traversing some insurmountable emotional distance by way of a simple telephone call? In these instances—for good or for worse—we find ourselves stranded, as if awaiting a response from a place as distant (and unexpectant) as the moon itself.

Here our subject wanders under the assumption that the shelter of his umbrella will protect him from the more “pertinent” danger of getting his clothes wet at the hands of potentially inclement weather. Truly, and example of the “blind leading their mind” in the most perilous of circumstances. On one more wrong turn and he will certainly suffer some consequence or another. No matter the originating causes of his confusion and denial, the restoration of his sight lies in the courage to lift the veil set upon him. To witness all that he has wrongly (or rightly) denied himself and appreciate how close he really was to that which he loved about himself, and those who loved and care for him. One only wonders just what such a transformation might look like, him most of all.

To be continued…

Absolved of all physical and psychological impediments (see "Stepping Stone (Pt. I)"), our protagonist walks confidently with the wonder of a child and the bravery of a giant. Mountains become mere stepping stones to a higher, brighter, and limitless future. There is no looking back, only a passage to new horizons. A forward path that rightfully beckons his attention for the benefit of his own knowing, those who know him, and those who might like to know him along the journey of his life.

The title of this concept is a hybrid of the words "asylum" and "alumni," used here describe the chronic status of a long-term psychiatric patient. Those keen of eye will notice a series of scrawlings on the right near wall which reads "Come out come out whoever you are": an obscure but poignant reference to the well-intentioned aim of retrieving oneself from wherever they might have disappeared to. Unfortunately for some, such recovery is futile, hence our subject being suspended in a desolate and abandoned hall with no way to set foot upon her sanity.

Is it a dark and fanciful depiction of an abandoned x-ray room, or, some obscure reference to the relentless slicing of our psyche (and sometimes, soma) into pieces over the course of our lives that would turn us into macabre personalities and/or helpless marionettes of our past? The original background image was extended and modified to include a degraded "sun room" of sorts to further the sense of decay and the supposition that patients would have, in a more glorious time, recuperated there. Sadly, all that remains is the equally fractured and forsaken shell of what once was.
Cold Comfort

To be certain, there are moments when not even the close psychophysical proximity of another is enough to assuage those more pervasive and persistent feelings of helplessness and desolation of whatever nature: emotional, spiritual, and even professional. Entombed and paralyzed, can only stare out to the brighter horizons in the hope of gathering courage necessary to shatter the inertia that holds us back from its promise…and our own.

I was scared to death of dragonflies as a child. Indeed, creating unnerved me numerous times). That said, this effort was just as much an exercise in creativity as it was one of self-psychoanalysis. One can imagine the hum and breeze kicked up as these creatures take to the sky, or glide in for a rest from the day’s pursuit (and consumption) of their prey (insects and, quite possibly, humans!) Dragonflies belong to the order ordonata, hence the title of the piece.

Child abuse: A callous, corrosive, and hideously convenient crime where otherwise-cherished souls are treated as nothing more than “playthings” of disposable dignity. Herein we find the spirit of the victim (represented by a tattered doll) surrounded by a forbidding barricade, and gazed upon by numerous individuals whose own lives might have been similarly tainted, or perhaps as concerned others on the outside looking to help those on the inside find a way out. But there is hope here, vis-à-vis the structural deficiencies of the fortress that surrounds the victim. It is incomplete and thus, given enough courage, perseverance, and support, one can find a way over, out, through, and past the trauma towards spiritual replenishment, freedom, and survivorship.
Fly Fishing

Here, a young girl totes (or "flies," as one would a kite) a massive, neutrally-buoyant puffer (or "balloon") fish. One can imagine the surprise on her schoolmate’s faces upon bringing it to school for show and tell (or her Machiavellian delight in having it pop the balloons of some playground arch-nemesis.) As for the man overlooking the spectacle, is he a spy? Some rogue geneticist evaluating the success of his latest creation? A bioweapons agent? Who knows?

Let’s face it: Love is, in many respects, a game that is just as demanding of foresight and consideration as chess (just ask any of Kasparov’s love interests!) Droll repartee aside, this particular image strives to convey the tenderness that ideally accompanies the enterprise of romance as intonated by the subliminal 'heart' formed by the two pawns depicted herein. (Bet you did a double-take when you saw it...that's okay, I did one when I created it!)

Not much to say about this image, aside from the observation that a gargantuan osprey staring down a bite-sized human certainly provides for an interesting (and ironic) visual. That is, one might very well imagine that nature will invert the terms of our relationship with her at some point as a matter of protecting the meeker species of the world from the blind aggression of apex predators such as us humans: A reversal of fortune that leaves us with no choice but to exercise a hitherto absent reverence.

This concept was inspired by the legend of Guanyin: the Chinese Goddess of Mercy whose name means, ‘one who listens to the cries of the world.’ Here we see her sitting in the middle of some desert, draped by green Bonsai ‘wings,’ beckoning us forward as if to indicate the presence of water for any wayward traveller, or our place in the heart of the lotus she holds forth, destined to sail to Sukhāvatī (‘Land of Bliss’).
Full Circle

This concept was inspired by Carl Jung's vivid recollection of the 'Big Dream' he had wherein he inspected various rooms of a large house for clues to his origin. Here, we see a young ('Jung') child playing upon the floor of some decayed basement in the gaze of a skeleton. At the top of the stairs are the (barely visible) words 'life' and 'death' with arrows pointing up and down respectively.
Tipping Point

Pretty self-explanatory: Young girl plots to flatten her nemesis with a wall of 8 ft. dominoes (talk about a unique expression of sibling rivalry!) Alternatively, the image comprises an allegory for our tendency to devise and execute overly-complex schemes to avenge past injustices whose essence (and remedy) might benefit most by a less devious and more straightforward approach (and you thought it was just a fun picture!)
Immacular Conception

It has long been argued that life poured forth from the sea in a fortunate froth of biochemical synergy. Behold then, the eye of the visionaries who see in the oceans the germ of all life…the minds whose eye sees in itself the answer to the deep and timeless question, "Where did we come from?"

A youngster clings to the backbone of his own life in some desperate attempt to defy fate. Sadly, many—young and old—fall away too soon, denied an adequate grip on the rungs of their own life by the very ladder itself, courtesy of some malign genetic and/or environmental flaw in the architecture of their existence.
Suspended Animation

Like some fatal mismatch, our diver streaks to the Earth from some unknown platform in a mutation of fate. Maybe it was not her destiny to capture the gold, but put her life to a different use. Fortunately, there is time for her to change course, land on her feet, and walk a new path towards a more promising circumstance.

A mirror into the genetic soul we all possess: a snapshot of identity on a biomolecular level. On its surface, the enigmatic arrangement of luminescent bars seems chaotic. But to the trained and open mind, it is as ordered a depiction of our being as one can imagine. For without its latent structure, we would possess none of our own.
Manifest Destiny

In the desert of her own limbo, an infant girl comes upon the forge of her own existence to witness the birth of her life and its inevitable end with the two extremes of life connected by the same finite plasma of time. All we can do is lie in wait to be born with the promise of time, only to have it empty us of life one drop at a time.
Cold Fusion

Drifting in tandem, two homologous chromosomes seem to pause in surprise at their having become entwined in a chiasma of their own creation. Here, they exchange genetic information towards the extension (or possible extinction) of their host species. While the act is clear enough, its ultimate outcome is visible only through the lens of time.



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