In my work I pay homage to the functional roots of ceramics while elaborating on historical and decorative elements. The influences seen in my work come from life experiences as well as travels and readings. The confluence of Eastern and Western cultures were celebrated in my last two solo exhibitions, Earth Tones (2009) and Facing East (2007) at the L2kontemporary Gallery in Los Angeles.
An Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Socials Grant from the University of Southern California allowed me to travel to Azerbaijan in 2008 to do research for the works created and presented in Earth Tones. The works in Earth Tones reference information gathered on this trip involving the use of vessels in ancient burial rituals, multiple symbolic teardrop shaped “butas” in large wall installations and “The California Gaval Dashy (Tambourine Stone), a 6 by 2.5 foot cast concrete stone that gives off a resonating sound when struck.
On this last work I collaborated with the percussion group, “The Antenna Repairmen” as they recorded an improvisational percussion session on this piece.
Facing East featured a series of ceramic wall reliefs and hand-woven carpets. The elaborately crafted and richly decorated pieces in Facing East were based on the art, architecture and literature of Azerbaijan intertwined with images and symbols familiar to my native California. My interest in Islamic Art has evolved from my studies of the Italian Renaissance during a study abroad program my junior year of college in Florence, Italy.