The Human Armada

The next sixteen images are from an installation entitled, The Human Armada, created between 1992 and 1994. There are five wheeled assemblages, each pulled by wrapped dog-like figures who look exhausted or injured. The elements are titled The Weight of the World, Library Font, Implement of Propaganda, Sacrarium, and  The Mechanics of Faith. This piece was shown at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, Helen Harwood Gallery in Miami, Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, ArtSpace in Atlanta, and Winthrop College in South Carolina.

Tar Paper Paintings

The next set of images are tar paper paintings made in 1990 prompted by watching the slaughter of Iraqi soldiers during the Gulf War. Materials are tar (roofing) paper, oil paint, and collaged paper images. These were shown at the Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago and at the Duke University Museum of Art.

The Gourd Archive

The next images are from The Gourd Archive, a set of dioramas inside of hard shell gourds and illuminated by interior lights and viewed through wide angle lenses. There are exterior and interior views. I began making these during a 1994 residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. These were shown at the Helen Harwood Gallery in New York and in Jim Kellough's Modern Museum in Durham, NC.

Midwest Farm Landscapes

 are from a series of landscape paintings inspired by time spent on my grandparents midwestern farm when I was young. They are oil on wood applied with palette knife and created in 2002-2003.

Copper Collage and Patina Paintings

From 1990 until about 2000, I worked with copper, copper patinas, and repurposed metal to make two dimensional "paintings." The largest were on 3'x8' panels and the smallest just 1'x1'. These were shown in various venues including the Durham Arts Guild, the Charlotte Art Center, and Greenhill Center in Greensboro, NC.

Human Heads

The two dimensional heads are oil and acrylic on tar paper. The three dimensional heads are made with metal hammered over wood armatures. The small femo clay heads were made as props for photography installations.  Shown at Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill in 1997.

Treasure Ships and Treasure Wagons

 I made these miniature ships and vehicles in 1993-1994 and showed them at the Raleigh Contemporary Gallery. They were designed to be small versions of the large sculptures in The Human Armada and, like those, were made from a wide variety of materials including hard shell gourds, furniture wood, glass lenses, toys, kitchen appliances, jewelry, auto parts, tobacco stained fabric, porcelain cups, medicine vials and bottles, animal bones, musical instruments, machine parts, natural objects, bicycle parts, as well as many others.

Humanities Experiments 

The following pieces are early prototypes of  experimental machines designed to detect, measure, capture, or store ( or some combination of these) a variety of theorized energies not yet recognized by conventional science. Ironically, while many of these energies  are held in conceptual esteem by the humanities and social sciences, these disciplines also do not contemplate the possibility of their physical existence.

These were shown at the Duke University Art Gallery in 1999.


 Instructions:  The viewer reads the offered texts within the vacuum into the vacuum feedback loop microphone. After multiple readings, the collection crystal is worn or carried on the body to release and disperse metaphysical anxiety energy.

     Theory:  All human anxiety has its roots in the principle dilemma,” Is there meaning to human life and what is its nature?”  This question is a priori  unanswerable  but this doesn’t prevent humankind from burning mountains of  time, energy, and creativity attempting to find a solution. The Dilemma Avoidance Vacuum Tube provides us a protective tool that  inoculates humans  from addiction to this question. Readings create a  buildup and release dynamic whose energy imprint is transferred to the quartz collector.  This energy is created by the ”anxiety shear” instigated by the “release phrase” at the end of the tube. This metaphysical anxiety release  energy (MARE) can be measured in mangstroms. Minute amounts of mangstroms are released through the tube and into the collector upon each  reading. Depending on the metaphysical anxiety potential present in the individual reader, between 2 and 20 mangstroms are released and collected. Approximately 40,000 mangstroms or between three and five thousand  readings will charge a two pound quartz crystal. When pulverized, this  charged powder will provide metaphysical anxiety protection to a family of  four for approximately 20 years depending on level of anxiety present.

Prospects: By helping to alleviate the human addiction to meaning, the ADVT may be an invaluable pain reduction-pleasure enhancement tool.  Tests are underway however, to determine whether minimal levels of metaphysical anxiety are  necessary for optimum human functionality.


Instructions:  Place text element in filament holder.  Reader speaks text into ID microphone. Compare color tone of quartz crystal to color coded irony eggs.

Theory:   Irony is present in the human brain and detectable in the human voice but  not present in text per se. Authors may intend irony and readers may receive it but in text form and without a human vector the irony is said to be in “latent” form. Though irony cannot as yet be measured directly  in brain waves, the human voice can be measured for minute amounts though the detector’s  rational audio continuum system. Advances in this  technology allow the  instrument to detect textual irony even in the voice of an “innocent” reader, that is, one who is unaware of the irony embedded in the statement.

Prospects:  While irony is far too unstable to be “captured” and stored, with this  detection device the artist foresees the large scale testing of  canonical and non-canonical texts for meanings as yet undiscovered by either traditional or even advanced deconstructive methods. 


Instructions:    In a firm voice, enunciate the full name of the first person with whom you you were romantically in love. Observe crystal scope for changes in interior crystal pattern. 

Theory:  The so called “first love” experience serves as a template for all future relationships. Limbic response to memory of  “first love” can be detected and measured through voice modality. Strong association will  be amplified by the VALR  and directed through the “moonstone” crystal. Increase in pattern formation from “neutral state” indicates strong limbic connections remain intact. Decrease in pattern  formation (increased randomness) indicates weak or non-existent limbic connection.

Prospects:    The VALR would be an invaluable tool for therapists in efforts to distinguish between embedded “root” causes and temporal “skill-based” deficiencies in relational disorders. 


Instructions:  Read the filament text within the bulb while viewing the prismascope. Detect which end of the color spectrum, red or violet, is more diffuse and  which is more distinct.

Theory:   The written word has the ability to strengthen or weaken the social contract at any particular moment in any particular civilization. The Social Filament Refractor (SFR) measures the strength of this social positive/social negative energy by detecting nuanced changes in refracted light while particular texts are being viewed and comprehended. Specifically, when a viewed text is  understood to weaken the social contract by a particular reader, proximate refracted light tends to distort by blurring color boundaries at the red end of the color spectrum. Conversely, text understood to strengthen the social contract distorts the spectrum at the violet end. It is as yet unclear whether this distortion effect within the color spectrum creates a feedback loop to further strengthen or weaken the social contract within the reader. Also unclear is the mechanism by which social contract energy distorts refracted light waves.  More study is underway.

Prospects: The SFR may be used to help explore the creative dynamic between the  building and the dismantling of the social contract through time. It may also may be useful as a creative censorship efficacy tool to help society keep its social contract dynamic within accepted parameters.

Oil Painting: Anthropomorphized animals and circus performers

I began to paint with oil over a tar base in 1995 and continued until 2000. This technique allows for the tar to seep through the paint and "stain" the canvas, creating a random and uneven back ground, a condition that I favored when painting.

I have made several portable puppet theaters over the years and many puppets and marionettes. Most of them I have given away to friends. Here are a few. 

Portraits: drawings and paintings

Drawings are charcoal. Paintings are oil.

Memorial Field for a Disappointed Century

In 2002, I made 100 airplanes that were installed on the lawn at the North Carolina Museum of Art as part of a larger show celebrating the centennial of flight. My installation, titled, "Memorial Field for a Disappointed Century" was not so celebratory. Like "The Human Armada before it, I incorporated every material at my disposal including machine parts, furniture parts, glass, paper, scrap metal, fabric and clothes, insects, bones, rubber, copper, books, porcelain, gourds, toys and dolls, car parts, and musical instruments. There is even a component from a WWII German tank. Wing spans range from 14 feet to 2 inches. Below are a few of them.

Footer Text - Copyright Information
Using Format