Molt, 2012, Wood, rawhide, rawhide  144” x 18” x 25”

This new sculpture was recently exhibited at Boston Sculptors Gallery as part of Height, Width, Depth, Time: Boston Sculptors Celebrates 20 Years, and will be shown again at Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke as part of REACH this April.

It was made after decades of looking at paintings and drawings of the Descent from the Cross. This Christian iconography of people lowering Christ’s body from the cross, where he had been crucified, provided artists from the 10th century onward with the potential for dynamic, dramatic configurations of cross, ladders, bodies, and emotions.

The most affecting for me is the version by Rosso Fiorentino, which I saw during a college seminar in Florence; we made a pilgrimage to the hilltown of Volterra to see the large painting where it stood alone in a high room. Its jagged forms, hallucinatory colors and lightning-struck grief left a deep impression on me.

The other imagery that fed into this piece was the memory of waking up in the Grand Canyon one morning to discover that during the night hundreds of cicada nymphs had emerged from the sand, climbed up dried plant stalks and molted, leaving tiny empty shells still clinging to each stalk.