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Artist Statement

"Animals may aid us in our everyday lives, in our dreams and meditations. Since they were created before humans, they are closer to the source and can act as allies, guides and familiars in our search for wholeness." - An Inuit Woman

I am in awe of animals and captivated by the primal world in which they belong.

My sense of self expands continually as I consider their simplicity, their unrehearsed manner of existence and their connectedness with the greater scheme of life. There is a sense of belonging that I gather in their presence, which binds me to a deep, ancient world that does not know consumerism and all the confines it brings.

My primary subject is powerful, wild animals. It is the exquisite contrast of each figure’s intimidating physical force confronted with its capacity for gentleness and grace that binds them to us in a common dance between life and death.

It is the experiences shared with animals in countless hours of close observation that stirs my creative impulse. And, while my varied experiences of contact with animals is extensive, it is the ever growing sense of relatedness that is key to every point of contact and the thing I hope most to convey.

I recall some distant, ancestral memory of my connection to the "wild self" and am compelled to seek threads of understanding that might bridge the gap between our primitive ties to nature then and now.

The core of human struggle is undeniably bound to the primal instincts and basic needs we share with our animal brothers and sisters. As human society “advances” the great cavern between us expands and the more fragile our shared existence becomes.

The primitive materials of wax, clay, wood, bronze and bone are my vehicles of expression. Delicate edges of hardened bronze and open passageways amidst the fierce expressions of defense and attack are juxtaposed, speaking to the frail line upon which we tip toe, teetering over the precipice we have created.

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." - Thoreau, 'Walking'

Diane "Standing Wolf" Collins/ 2006