These clay sculptures take the shape of cairns - stacks of rock along a hiking trails that serve as trail markers. In my own hiking experience I've had a fascination with these forms; forms that guide us and remind us of those who have passed before us. Along the trails, cairns topple and are rebuilt or hikers continually add to create a large form - typical of human nature; to build and rebuild. Some are challenged to create particularly precarious stacks, testing the limits - also typical of human nature. I'm also fascinated that in cultures spanning time and place this pastime of stacking rocks is universal and essential with each assigning their own meaning and purpose to the forms.
However, as any experienced hiker can tell you, do not rely on these markers as true guides. I see these "Cairns" as a metaphorical reminder that we need to ultimately rely on ourselves as our true guide.
Many people are drawn to my "Cairns" by their forms and textures. And many have had their own experiences with cairns. I love hearing their personal stories: from a trek across Ireland to uncovering an ancient Roman cairn in Austria to my nephew building a cairn in memory of his grandmother wherever he travels.
I continue to be fascinated by our powerful and universal connection to these mystical markers.