CHRISTIAN-ALBRECHT GOLLUB: The show focuses on your work from 1968 to 1998, is that correct?


GOLLUB: It is, in essence, somewhat of a retrospective. As you look from '68 to '98, what do you see as you're going through your
work? Are you shocked? Are you surprised? Are you amazed? It's three decades.

BAKER: I don't know quite what to make of it yet. It's still coming together. I always think back to the early landscape paintings and
how everything seemed to have grown out of those. So, in some way, I am almost predisposed to look for that connection, but what
I'm most interested in is finding other connections.

GOLLUB: The early landscape paintings—do you mean by that that you were more of a realist? Because I noticed that your work has
gone very abstract. Although you do have realistic images in your work, the early paintings in the show are more realistic/naturalistic,
not a hundred per cent, but anyone could identify them as landscapes, whereas some of the later pieces might be a bit more

BAKER: Chronologically speaking, the landscapes from the late 1960s were representational landscapes, fairly traditional. Then right
about that time, let's say 1970, I found that the landscapes, the traditional imagery, were not conveying what I wanted to reveal about
the landscape experience that I was having. For example, bringing back to the studio some of the landscapes which I would do on
site, the representational landscapes, I found that I was leaving something back at the site, back at the place where I had painted it,
the landscape. It was this feeling of the phenomenon of the landscape, the actual being there with the landscape. I had a good
representation of it, and to some degree a good likeness, and to some degree the feeling, but there was something else that I felt that I
needed to change—the way in which I was making the work, technically, but also to create some kind of a development, a
breakthrough, whatever you want to call it, to capture this experience which I call the phenomenon of the place and the time—to
capture that phenomenon in the painting. So I made a very conscious effort to change from—and this is almost an
oversimplification—a representational style to an abstract style. It was at that point that I began doing the large stain paintings. How I
arrived at that format, I really can't say. Some people say, well—

GOLLUB: Morris Louis.

BAKER: Morris Louis or, obviously too, Rothko. I was certainly aware of Rothko, and I certainly liked his paintings, but I didn't feel
that the paintings I was doing, those large stain paintings, were that closely related to Rothko. In one particular way I can say that the
large stain paintings are actually more sculptural than Rothko’s, and that my paintings are basically sculptural slabs, which when you
look at them, tend to dissolve in a way, visually dissolve, and yet they come back to being sculptural slabs. They have a three-and-a-
half-inch side on them, so they are almost like shallow box forms. In that sense they are very different from Rothko. But in another
sense perhaps not, because they are very vaporous, they are very strongly hued, that is, the color is very rich, it's very atmospheric.
But on the other hand, they have very regular vertical separations, lines, and perhaps there is a connection to Japanese screen
painting. That may have been conscious, I'm not sure, but I do feel that at that time I was certainly aware of that type of Far Eastern
landscape painting, the Japanese screen paintings in particular. I was very much thinking about those, so there may be a connection
in terms of those folding screens, and the separations in the folding screens. But, as a formal device, the vertical lines were a way of
keeping the painting from becoming a kind of space vacuum. In a formal sense, I wanted to bring the viewer back to the surface, the
experience one would have optically of looking through a window that had separations in the panes of glass. That your
consciousness moved from what was beyond that and back to that surface.

GOLLUB: The stain paintings are, you could say, a landscape carried to an abstract extreme because some of the colors are reflected
from the early landscapes, but they are very pure colors, simple, not as complex as a landscape color combination would be. Is this a
fair assessment, that it is an abstract carried to an extreme of the landscapes that you started with?

BAKER: Well, I'm not sure. It's difficult to frame it in that terminology—

GOLLUB: You use a lot of earth tones—

BAKER: Yes. That's a complex question. I think that the paintings do represent a very realistic experience, so that they're not abstract
in the sense that one would normally think of them being abstract and, that is, moving away from reality. They were perhaps even a
stronger conveyance of  the reality that I was trying to express at the time. In that sense they may or may not be abstract. But the
other thing you said about the color is very important, in that the colors, even though they may seem almost monochromatic, almost
a step toward a minimalist sort of abstraction, are very close to the particular moment of the day when I was experiencing that kind
of light, mostly around dusk. In fact, some of them actually convey the experience of early evening, or even late evening, so that
some of them, the blue ones I'm speaking about, have a nocturnal quality to the light.

GOLLUB:  When you refer to a specific time of day, did you paint these outside?


GOLLUB: How did you go about conveying this sense of space and place that you were talking about with the early landscapes with
the stain paintings?

BAKER: It is interesting that you would use that phrase "sense of place," because that's exactly what these represent, of being in a
certain place at a certain time. They represent almost a moment when the light is changing or fading or a certain kind of interaction
between the light that's in the sky and the land. There is a fusion there that's going on, and the fusion is one of melding the light into a
totality. It's also the result of a kind of pulling of the way in which right around sunset the light seems to pull away from the earth.
There's a Rilke poem called
"Evening" in which he describes this phenomenon. My interpretation of the poem is that he is describing
the way in which the earth and sky pull against each other. I see that in my mind's eye as expressed through the light at a particular
time of day, especially around sunset.

GOLLUB: You moved beyond the stain paintings and continued in an abstract vein while incorporating some very realistic elements—
birds, butterflies, rabbits, and fish, very noticeably. What about this combination of a very abstract landscape? I'm not referring to
the landscape per se, but just to the canvas as landscape, the abstraction, the geometric, the playing with space and then having a
very recognizable image.

BAKER: That's a very important question. I think what I'm trying to do is still answer that in the work that I continue to do.

GOLLUB: What about that dichotomy of abstraction and the very realistic and recognizable images? You can look at it and say that's
a bird. It's obviously a bird or obviously a fish. But the background, the landscape into which you place that entity, is not as
recognizable. Why that dichotomy?

BAKER: You mean between the field and the image?

GOLLUB: Right.

BAKER: You have to go back a little bit into the large stain paintings. Those paintings were fields of light or fields of landscape
dissolving in light. I think I felt as if those fields were becoming almost too esoteric, too empty of some kind of other reference, and
I really wanted to bring it back a little bit. Maybe another way of saying that is that the vocabulary of those large paintings was, for
me at least at that time, becoming too thin. Another reason may have been a practical reason: I moved from a very large studio into a
very small studio, and I was no longer able to physically produce these large paintings. So it may have been a very practical
adaptation. But I also think that I felt there was a need, or at least an opportunity presented itself, where I began to explore a slightly
different kind of vocabulary. Maybe also in the back of my mind I thought I needed to offer a vocabulary that was a little more
accessible. I was getting wary of the abstract element in the painting— that it was becoming too abstract— that I was almost losing
the connections I had with landscape. So, in a way, I was trying to bring back those connections that I was feeling. I had moved to
a new rural home, and I was closer to landscape than I was when I was remembering the landscape and doing the large paintings in
a city studio. I found that living out in a wooded environment I had more direct experience with nature. I was trying to reestablish
the contact with that particular place. It was not the wide open coastal light. It was a woodland, a valley, so it was a completely
different experience of nature. That probably also contributed to this shift. So I began to try to distill the recognizable images. I did
that by making very simple drawings in profile of birds and of butterflies and to some degree of little rabbit forms, but the birds were
prominent. I still carry this feeling about the field. The field was a kind of abstract, vaporous, spiritual world—not a representational
world. I situated these birds in the aura of this field so that they would take on a spiritual dimension, but also have a very earthbound
appearance. Birds pretty much poised as you might see them on a branch in profile. I'm not sure if I've answered your question
about the dichotomy between the fields and the representational images, but it's an ongoing issue in my work.

GOLLUB: You chose birds, rabbits, butterflies, fish as points of reference in this abstract landscape. You simplified these animals as
silhouettes, so as to abstract from the very natural entity of the live bird or live fish and give us a flatness in a landscape, so that we
recognize it, but so it doesn't have too much character of its own.

BAKER: Right. Yes. It's not so specific—

GOLLUB: But it is the same bird over and over and over again, or it is the same shape.

BAKER: There is some variation in terms of the species. Some of them you can recognize right away as crows, and that's important.

GOLLUB: Is that why they're always black?

BAKER: No, no.

GOLLUB: Do you like the silhouette because of that, because you don't put them in color?

BAKER: At one point I did. In the early '80s, I did use color in those silhouettes, but let me back up a bit. First of all, in distilling the
bird image and having it in profile, is the quickest way to identify it as a bird, and it's also less distracting on a formal level once you
recognize it as a bird. Then it can be used as an abstract form, and to me it has more dynamic potential as a form, but also
simultaneously, of course, you recognize it as a bird and, in some cases, a specific bird and that's important. But it was equally as
important to make these forms distilled enough so that I could see them simply as forms that had a visual dynamic to them, in other
words, so that I could play the black against white. I could play the orange field against the black. And those color combinations—
whether you think of them as being symbolic, even to some degree the whole thing being almost heraldic, like a shield, for me at
least, they became more powerful that way—as symbols, as images, as formal constructions. I was able to deal with them better that
way than having to, say, put all the feathers on them. When I began to use the fish image, I started with very detailed imagery and
continued to do that for a while, as I did in the very carefully drawn and literally scale-for-scale, fin-for-fin drawings of the bluefish
on the black background. But in a way, that was a distillation too. It was a distillation of a moment when the fish flashes in the
darkness of the deep water. Even though it had a lot of detail, it was still a distillation. So it was a development out of the bird
silhouettes. I also wanted to get closer to nature again, closer to the experience of being with that fish and really knowing what that
particular fish was like. I did a lot of research on that and a lot of study, looking in the ocean with a snorkel and going to aquariums
and even fish markets and places like that where I could really see these fishes.

GOLLUB: With few exceptions, these points of reference, be it the birds or the fish, are shown individually, not in a flock, not in a
school, but as individuals in this landscape, even if on the canvas there are two or three or five birds. Why the disassociation from
fellow birds or fellow fish? Is this the loner, the artist or the individual?

BAKER: It seems like a logical connection. I'm not sure. I think it's more because I wanted to create a highly concentrated
impression of this image and so, when I do use more than one image in the same painting, it's usually a repetition of the same image
or a couple of repetitions. It's still basically the same image. It's still very concentrated even though it's repeated.

GOLLUB: But there is absolutely no interaction between the birds or between the fish.


GOLLUB: They seem to be totally alone in their own spaces.

BAKER: Yes. I hadn't thought of that, and there is probably a psychological connection there. The artist, be that artist myself or any
individual viewer or anybody else in a sense, has a kind of singular identity, and maybe there is a sacredness that I'm trying to
establish. The other thing is that with the singular images, it was a way of avoiding getting distracted into incidental elements,
whether they were incidental within the detail of the image itself, or whether making it too complex by making the various images
associate with each other, so to speak, would, I think, take away from the importance of that singularity. Coming all the way back to
what you asked me, I think that's the best way I can describe it at the moment.

GOLLUB: The entities are singular entities. They don't interact. They don't do what they should be doing. The birds don't fly; they
just stand there. The fish don't swim; they're almost static on the canvas, in the boxes.  They are floating in space, so they are also
abstracted from their function.


GOLLUB: You're using them almost as somewhat more elaborate geometric elements on your canvas. You've done a lot with
calligraphy, with game pieces, for example. What about the playful geometric element of your work and fitting these birds and fish
into that, using them as geometrics?

BAKER: That is another of the cross influences I picked up from folk art and from games and things like that—that have a lighter,
more spontaneous quality to them—and things like that seem to have a purity about them in the way that they use images. It’s a kind
of naive beauty that they have. I am always very careful in my work to try to avoid being overly conscious of other artist’s work,
other styles of work, but since I look a lot at other kinds of work, I try to study those works which I think are basically unspoiled
and untainted by more popular idioms or, let’s say, overly historicized idioms of art, styles that can very easily result in being overly
derivative or become cliches very quickly. That’s what I find in folk art, and in some art that has a slightly functional dimension to it,
which much of folk art does, things like games, which appropriate and distill imagery and give it a kind of formal energy. I have
found in things like that a certain kind of purity which I'm trying to connect into my own work—perhaps that is how the geometric
connection occurs. There is also a connection to some of the alchemical engravings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which I've been looking at recently. They have that same kind of elegance and yet at the same
time a functional purity that I find very exciting. They almost seem improvised, as if you don't know what they're trying to do or
what they're trying to explain. So I gravitate toward things like that. Tantric Buddhist art also has the same sort of concentrated
visual energy for me. This is what I try to derive from looking at that kind of art rather than more traditional Western-style art.

GOLLUB: How do you bring together something such as the game boards? In fact, you're sitting in front of a piece that is not yours,
but it's a game board, that's very geometric, that's excessively black and white. And then you have something as flowing as the stain
paintings. That again appears to be a dichotomy from the very rigid, very opposite to the free-flowing and moving. How do you
explain that dichotomy in your work?

BAKER: The simplest way is to say that I'm very interested in order and chaos and the tension between those two things as a
metaphor for what so much of life is like. I've moved sometimes from more orderly to more chaotic and back again, but more
recently I've been trying to establish a combination of both. The flower paintings, for example, which have a saturated dark stain and
very random backgrounds, and superimposed on those backgrounds are these fairly orderly, arranged flower silhouettes—usually the
same or just one or two different silhouettes but very repetitive and very regular visually.

GOLLUB: But the color is very different.

BAKER: The color shifts also, but that's the nature of nature, I suppose, to not be as regular, at least in appearance, as you might
expect it to be. Again, it's getting back to the phenomenon of the experience of nature as a real experience, let's say, as opposed to an
intellectualized transcendental or so-called spiritual experience. Just looking at nature you can see all the chaos you want or you can
see all the order you want. It's a duality. It's there. This duality fascinates me. The duality is a metaphor for the way in which life
goes on for people.

GOLLUB: Talk about the fish a little more. You had a show last year of fish boxes.[The exhibition, entitled
Celestial Tides, took place
at the DeBlois Gallery, Newport, Rhode Island, July 3-15, 1998.] One thing I did notice about the fish, I don't know if you've
noticed, is that many of them, not all of them, but most of them, go from left to right. Why is that?

BAKER: I have no idea. I thought about that when I was drawing some of the blue fish because I noticed that I was drawing them all
going from left to right. So I decided to try to draw one going from right to left, and it came out about the same, but I just didn't feel
as comfortable with it for some reason. Maybe it's the direction of the way we read text that carries over, the movement in that
direction, but I have no real reason to explain that. I just want to get back to one other thing regarding the images: the
representational images are usually birds or butterflies or fish, and it's important that it be understood that these images represent a
metaphor or some sense of the transcendental aspects of nature, and that these three animals all exist in conditions that are not
natural to us. The birds in the air, the fish in the ocean, and the butterfly is, actually, something that metamorphoses and becomes
reborn. So that, in a way, represents another kind of spiritual transformation. These three images are very specific, and I repeat these
things fairly consistently and that's basically what they symbolize. They symbolize other things as well. The black crow, for instance,
is a kind of watching presence in nature. The salt water fish is nature reflecting itself back. It's a nature presence. Likewise the
butterfly.  Also the butterfly being such an extravagantly beautiful thing—the patterning and the colors and the variations in hundreds
of thousands of butterflies, each with a gloriously beautiful pattern different not only from other butterflies, but within a single
butterfly, the top of the wing and the bottom of the wing being almost completely different. There is a kind of extravagant lavishness
that goes beyond camouflage, goes beyond mimicry or whatever the other reasons that evolution made or brought to these patterns,
whatever changes and developments they represent, in terms of evolution. They are for me, first and foremost, these amazingly
beautiful things. So that represents to me also a part of life that doesn't really have any function except to simply be just very, very
beautiful and very visually stimulating. The fish, of course, is something that I worked with probably more than any of the other
images. The fish really does represent a kind of deeper psychological state for me, basically that of the human psyche existing in the
unconscious or subconscious. That, too, represents a very concentrated moment that may be the moment of inspiration. It may be
the moment of deepest reflection, but, whatever it is, the fish seems to be a vehicle for that phenomenon. I think phenomenon is an
appropriate word here too.

GOLLUB: Why have you boxed the fish? You have gone from a flat representation of the fish, a very detailed representation of the
fish on a large scale (no pun intended) to a smaller boxed version, three dimensional, occasionally using found fish of various types
and putting them into this boxed environment. Why have you moved from a flat to a three-dimensional boxed environment?

BAKER: It's just another way of expressing something I think all of the works try to get at: that we're trying to move to a different
world, and the box is a contained different world. The large stain paintings were almost a kind of environment of themselves. In
other words, they were so large that they basically radiated the color at you, and, in a way, you were experiencing the color first

GOLLUB: They, the stain paintings, were a convex box.

BAKER: In a way, yes, you could say that.

GOLLUB: And the fish boxes were much smaller, and they are concave.

BAKER: Right. They still represent the difference between what I consider the spiritual world or transcendental world or meditative
world or whatever you want to call it and the real world of the viewer. Even though those worlds coexist, it is very difficult for the
viewer to physically be in one world and the other at the same time. You have to create a mental journey into these works whether
the stain painting or the boxes, and the boxes do represent a kind of world that has been contained. In a very literal way, the boxes
probably could represent the ocean looking back at you through a face mask, but, of course, it's much more than that. These are
much more controlled, and they also represent the vastness of the night sky. So there is a lot going on in these boxes. The form of
the box basically represents the threshold that one must cross to experience some kind of spiritual transformation. It's just another
way of doing this, of containing these images and concentrating these images—the images themselves being more concrete, more
real, more physical, and yet so distanced, so to speak, within these little sealed-off compartments. There is a paradox there, but the
paradox, I hope, in the form represents at least another kind of concentrated experience.  In this case, I suppose I was trying to
figure out a way of including the deep space experience with the deep ocean experience and keeping fish as a kind of mediator
between those two unknowns.

GOLLUB: We talked about the fish going from left to right, and in the boxes themselves, I noticed that you had one fish that was
actually hanging, meaning the head was up and the tail was down, and you decided not to include that. Why is that? You created it,
and yet you found it somewhat disruptive.

BAKER: Yes. Basically I haven't resolved that. I don't know whether that really makes sense for me, so I'm still thinking about it.
And even though I like that piece—there is something there that I like very much—I still think that it doesn't seem quite right. Some
of those pieces, particularly the boxes which I've been working on, on and off for about ten years, took a long time to come into
focus for me, and, on the other hand, some of the more recent ones seem to have come along fairly fast.  So, whether it was having
the show that made me concentrate and be able to realize these things more quickly, I'm not sure, but they're an ongoing thing, and
some of them work and some of them don't, and some of them you just can't get beyond what it is that's bothering you about them,
and others seem to fall into place quite quickly.  I think almost anyone who's involved in the process of making an art work would
understand that experience. But I can't say why that particular box is different from the others as the way you described it, but I still
feel that it's an interesting piece and maybe it's suggesting a new direction that I haven't quite consciously caught up with yet.

GOLLUB:  Putting the fish on its tail?

BAKER: So to speak.

GOLLUB: We've talked about birds, flowers, butterflies, and fish. I notice in earlier work that you have a rabbit as well. I know that
you have a very strong interest in Joseph Beuys, and the rabbit obviously is significant in his work. Can you say something about the
rabbit and your attraction to Beuys in general? Your early use of the rabbit predates your fascination with the work of Joseph Beuys.

BAKER: It does predate that, so I don't see any clear-cut connection between my use of that image and his use of that image.

GOLLUB: I recognized it right away. It looked almost like the Beuysian rabbit.

BAKER: Again, my experience with the fish and the birds is having literally lived with these creatures and seen them and studied them
and meditated on them for so long. The rabbit was also part of that early experience, and I've always been involved with trying to
enjoy being out in the woods or near the ocean or whatever natural surroundings I can find. I usually try to explore that and discover
what's there. You not only discover from the almost purely natural history point of view the flora and the fauna and everything in the
landscape itself and, of course, by extension, the various moments that one experiences in the day and in the seasons and everything
else, but also trying to see the particular elements, the birds or whatever, in that environment as representing some kind of particular
attribute or symbolizing something other than simply what they are.  Of course, this has been done down through the ages. But I've
always tried to find it on a purely personal first-hand basis, be there first hand, and say I'm taking it from the very closest personal
contact I can make with these things and try, not necessarily to describe, but to present what I think they represent beyond what is
simply what they are. To try to get beyond that and to see as in the whole idea of nature that it represents something other than just
material reality. It really represents something much larger, and the deep ocean or deep space certainly represents the mystery of
creation, but it also represents the mystery of our own psychic existence.

GOLLUB: What about the metallic tape, the reflectors, that you use in some of your paintings? How does that fit in to the natural
environment? It's about as far away from nature as I could imagine, because it's not at all realistic. It's man-made. It has nothing do
to with anything you'd see in nature. It's almost unnatural.

BAKER: Yes, it is. And so these materials are by contrast more expressive than the usual kinds of materials I've been working with,
the more traditional art materials, and by contrast I'm trying to transform these materials almost in an alchemical sense to my ends by
using the bird images with these hardware store materials. And yet keeping a lot of the same vocabulary, even the same silhouette
forms that I had cut fifteen years ago, I'm still reusing those in these, let's say, technological paintings. Also, they do represent nature
in a contemporary technological environment—how there might be a balance, if not a purely ecological balance, at least a psychic
balance within my paintings of those forms and those materials. So, in a way, I'm challenging the kinds of materials that basically
represent a more technological, saturated environment to see if these materials can be at least metaphorically brought to terms with
our own need to create a balance with nature in our lives.

GOLLUB: Speaking of creating a balance: in the painting that won "Best in Show" at the Newport Art Museum last year, you have
what looks like a stain painting gone awry with tape, with geometrics; you have fish; you have let a lizard creep in. It seems to be the
perfect distillation of James Baker and his various dichotomies. Is that why it was the "Best in Show," because it's the best in Baker?

BAKER: Probably. I think you described it quite well, although there are other factors, but I think what you said now is a pretty good
way of saying that. It is really the culmination of things that I've been working with, and it took me a long time to bring those into
contact and equilibrium and to create a kind of dynamic sensation within that particular painting. So, yes, it does represent a lot of
what I've been trying to bring together over the years. I guess alchemy, which is something I've been doing a little more reading
about lately, seems to me to be the perfect metaphor for creating situations in which a transformation occurs. It really does go back
to the same basic experience of nature as a mysterious force—that if you approach it in the right way, maybe in a meditative way,
I'm not sure, but, if you approach it in the right way, it can represent something that will transform you. That is the underlying
message or theme in the work, that nature is a mysterious, spiritual force that enables you to transform yourself, maybe not make a
complete transformation, but at least make you realize that you do have a higher plane of existence. I just wanted to mention one
other thing, and that is that there are these circular forms that repeat themselves quite often in the work, and they go way back. They
can be seen literally as things, like the fish eye for instance, but also a target, or they can simply be abstract concentric circles or just
dots. They are something that seems to be creeping back into the work.  Now, whether these represent little universes, little
microcosms or macrocosms, whether they represent spiritual fields or halos—they could be all of that. It's interesting, as I was
thinking the other day, that I spent a lot of my earlier life practicing marksmanship, and it has always been a fascination for me since
I was very young to have this ability to take a piece of technology, a rifle, and to be able to transform it into not just an instrument of
power or destructiveness, but an instrument of fine connection with the spirituality of physics. That's the best I can describe it. It's
also the dynamics of vision connecting from one point to another through a kinetic physical act, a moment. These things, if you can
read them simply as targets, although they're not simply that, have always had a fascination for me, again, on a more symbolic level
rather than just as a sport or as an athletic endeavor.  A lot of my work involves kinetic activity, whether it's the stain moving across
the canvas and the act of doing that, or a certain kind of balletic dimension to making a painting rather than just sitting in a chair and
drawing, but getting up and moving the painting around or moving the materials around. Maybe there's a connection there. I don't
know, but I think there's a strong connection between the idea of these concentric circles and having a center.
James Baker, a Newport native, received his BA from Providence College
and his BFA and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
He is Professor of Art at Providence College, where he has been teaching since 1972.
He has been awarded five Providence College Faculty Research Grants,
as well as an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
His drawings of fishes were featured in John Hersey's
published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1987.
He has exhibited nationally and internationally
and is represented in several museum collections in the United States.

James Baker
interviewed by
christian-albrecht gollub

The following interview took place
at Professor Baker's home in November of 1998.
It was first published in the limited edition catalog issued to accompany the exhibition
James Baker: Selected Works, 1968-1998
Newport Art Museum
Newport, Rhode Island
January 22 - April 18, 1999


Interview © James Baker and Christian-Albrecht Gollub

Fish Box, 1998, 11.5" x  6.5" x  2"
(from the exhibition
Celestial Tides)
Private Collection
The course of the work in this exhibition is both chronological and cyclic
and represents an ongoing response to the mystical phenomenon of nature. The works are metaphors
for a state of mind that affirms a spiritual reality in which we all exist. Whether transitory or enduring,
these phenomena are signs of a deeper sense of being and of the infinite.

                                                                               -- James Baker