In all of my work I'm trying to create a dialogue, in which I want to provoke the recipients, stimulate them to use their own imaginations. I don't just say things recipients want to hear, flatter their egos or comfort them by agreeing with them. I have to provoke them, to take them as seriously as I take myself.
My own life values were shaped in great part by my mother, who instigated women's clubs in my village. Women were able to organize and stand together. What inspired me most about their work was the power it gave them to assert their rights and the rights of their daughters, be it education or property inheritance.
My father and his brothers and sisters were childhood Irish jig champions in the Bronx. At our family celebrations, they all get out and do the jig. And of course, the younger generation, me and my cousins and my brothers, we have our own Americanized renditions of the Irish jig, which is a bit more like 'Lord of the Dance.'