My family has always been linked by war: not the wars overseas, but the wars that took place in our own backyards, the ones that took root in our imaginations. We were an army of eighteen cousins, all of us different in our own way encompassing everything from cheerleaders and doctors to hippies and fratboys. With our immediate families scattered about the country, assemblage of the whole army in one place was difficult. But for a short while each summer, we would unite and our army would be complete. Vanquishing imaginary foes from the moment we woke until the moment we were called to bed at night, we could be medieval knights defending the crown or cowboys fighting off waves of American Indians. The weapons available, ranging from sticks found in the woods to handmade bows and store-bought pistols, determined not only the day’s course of battle, but also our individual warrior identities. It is with these weapons and our imaginations that our family of young and old, boys and girls, were united.
As the years passed by, the army grew up and moved on to discover new passions. But while we have each matured in our own ways, like soldiers we share, the bonds and memories of battles won and lost. We share the memories of times spent united during the summers of our childhoods.
Having drawn inspiration from memories of finding sticks in the woods that we could use as spears, to the hours spent sanding boards in my backyard to create swords for my cousins. With each weapons construction I have looked to create more than just a weapon of steel and wood but a truly narrative sculptures. With the shape and style of each weapon being unique as the person they represent with personalized embellishments making each piece contain a specific personality that corresponds with its owner.
With my work I hope bring to life the imaginative warfare that united and shaped my family. Each unique weapon has been created with the unique personalities of each respective family member, each summer soldier, in mind. These weapons are representations of the people my cousins have become; they are for my cousins, who now as adults, have in some ways forgotten our past as united warriors. With my work I intend to give viewers a glimpse into my past and the current happenings of my family, while simultaneously inviting them to channel their childhood imagination and find their inner warrior.