Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Things

2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, silk, wool, pine cones, cedar, gold leaf
     Here are images of new sculptures that were finished in the beginning month of this year. This piece started out as most of my work does, referencing gourd-like shapes. I'm beginning to think the gourd often references the womb, at least in my case, most of the time (Sometimes it does reference the masculine), and my contemplation about how I see myself as a woman having chosen not to have children, particularly now that I'm entering my menopausal years and any choice will be a moot point soon.
     The sculpture above is one of those instances where you begin and don't know quite where your idea will finish. Some people don't work this way. They have a concrete concept and idea and execute it faithfully, right down to the last millimeter. I can work that way about 25% of the time. Well, maybe about 10%. 9.5%. Anyway, the point is, I feel very strongly about intuition. Part way through, I ask myself, what if I make a sharp right turn? What happens if I close off the top? What if I split the end in two? What if the bottom is no longer a bottom? What, then, does the piece say to me? At each stage of the form, then surface, then finish, I try to detach from what I've created and view it as a stranger. What does it evoke? What could it evoke? Where am I in life and what possible intentions did I include in this piece?
     The funny thing about Evolving is that at nearly every stage, I just wasn't sure if I had anything worth having. Great uncertainty. That is, until I put the last cedar legs in, the last bit of silk and positioned the appendages that remind me of demented fallopian tubes. I photographed this creepy monster and fell in love with its expression, its determination, its identifiable characteristics and its ambiguity, all evolving from the first coil.
2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, thorns, beads
     Vagina dentata anyone? Watch out because it's got sucker-feet that can crawl towards you.
Uncomfortable Surprise
2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, beads
     Unexpected moments in life, life-changing events, the kinds of things that you know are significant but you're not sure why. Not being able to discern if something is a good thing or a bad thing right away can cause anxiety; we like to put people, things, ideas in a box, label them, pigeonhole them into pro and con, good and bad, black and white. This form reminds me of a Christmas Cracker, the paper toy common at Christmas time in a Dickensian setting, ruptured, faceted, splitting down the middle. Will it be a pleasant surprise?
Orchid of Emptiness
2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, copper, wool, beads
     Orchids are beautiful but they are parasitic. I ponder, often, about the nature of parent/child relationships, particularly mother/child relationships. Whose needs do they serve? Is it beneficial for both? Is it a good thing? When do parent/child needs evolve into adult/adult needs? Do they ever? Not all parent/child relationships end up this way or are like this 100% of the time, but that prospect is always there, in my opinion.

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