Thom explains these works

Orpheus brought chaos into harmony through music. A man and a god, Orpheus represents a kind of transformation, a coming into spiritual awareness, and that fits what I am trying to evoke.

The silence and stillness in the Orpheus figures are purposeful. Wrapped like cocoons, a symbol of rebirth, the Orpheus figures bear their energy forces inside, unlike the Angel Tree Shapeshifters. Orpheus faces rose in the work some years ago. I call them witnesses, as we are, the dreamers of the dream. One side of the face has scarification—we all go through sufferings. The other side is tranquil, Buddha-like—our looking inward to recognize our inner peace and harmony.

The Angel Trees almost dance. Their sensuality brings masculine and feminine energies together. Those feminine hoops, orbit-like rings of the diadem, create apertures to the sky—openings to the Cosmos. But at the same time, you’re brought down into the masculine strength of the trunk of the Angel Tree. And trees do dance. Although the Orpheus figures are still, they are dancing quietly in their own way.

Explanation Orpheus Emrging

In the silence that surrounds the piece, one can almost hear it breathing.

— JM Welker
Curator, Art Museum, University of Kentucky

The Orpheus Gallery

The figures are “witnesses” to the inner and cosmic worlds that the artist is exploring.

— Robert Saltonstall Mattison
Art Historian and Critic