It is rather lovely to note that there has been an increase in people doing jigsaw puzzles during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Obviously puzzles have not lost their power to entertain people either singly or in groups. Even the ‘rich and famous’ are secret puzzlers. Amie Tsang in her New York Times article said, “Patrick Stewart once called the world of jigsaw puzzles a “secret society.” She even mentioned that the Australian Prime Minister has announced that jigsaw puzzles are an ‘essential item’ during ‘lockdown’ and that people are allowed to leave their homes in order to procure them. Images of puzzle pieces being laid out methodically across nations, possibly first the edge pieces and then working with groups of colors or patterns come to mind. There are strategies to consider!
Why are people drawn to jigsaws? There is something soothing about taking a box of jumbled pieces and making order out of them, thereby creating a wonderful image. Why do I work with jigsaw pieces? I think it is something about the jigsaw pieces themselves. The shapes are so interesting and familiar and fit so nicely in the hand. I work with puzzle pieces because their shapes remind me of people. With these miniature people, I tell stories about human foibles and how humans interact with one another. My work is not so much about creating order as I make sculptures. As I place one puzzle piece against another I am reflecting on the human condition and how our attitudes to one another today are pivotal to society’s success.