Grandmothers, Ancestors, Old Ladies, Old Men tell stories of times now gone. A vocabulary of wisdom that we need to preserve. Lives saddened by grief, by war, by loneliness, but bravely lived with humble activities.

I am looking at old photos and remembering people I knew, and a flood of emotion is pouring out in this new body of work in the form of “little old ladies” figurines of Grandmothers, symbols of protection and expression.

On terraces, porticos and gardens in summer, in front of fires in winter, they told us their stories. They will not be forgotten and we will carry forth their memories.

My figurines and portraits begin at the wheel, formed partly by the natural folding of the clay and partly by deliberate mark making. As characters appear I instinctively give them names and they bring back memories of the elderly people my parents looked after in my childhood. I remember their expressions, their wrinkled faces and their eyes. Their benign presence is a vocabulary of bygone times.

This body of work wants to convey the feeling of loneliness and isolation sometimes we find ourselves in life and the need for community and warmth from family and friends.

In thinking about the past, I cannot avoid thinking the traumatic times my ancestors suffered through the centuries. The need to hide, escaping persecution, isolation and darkness. From “Darkness to Light” is an ever present motive in our Stories, and it is portrayed in this installation.

These ceramics heads came to being in the past year while I was grieving the loss of my father and feeling the need of community and family near me.