Buidling large work
posted: March 25, 2010
My desire to create large scale work stems both from my ongoing aesthetic exploration of scale and mass as well as a need to challenge myself technically. While bigger is certainly not always better, with large scale work there is the potential to create a presence that simply isn’t possible with smaller work.
While it is difficult to make accurate generalizations about any art, for me, sculpture that approaches the size of a human body takes on additional meaning simply because of its size. Of course this is not to say that large sculpture is in any way better than small sculpture, nor would any random small work benefit from an artificial increase in size. However, I think due to the way humans intrinsically perceive the physical world, we interact differently with large sculpture.
To some extent, most ceramics involve taking the artistic vision from the right side of the brain and bringing the final piece to fruition using the left side of the brain. While there are exception, most ceramic artists have at least clay and glaze formulas to consider, drying and firing schedules, and perhaps structural aids like armatures and molds. The complexity of all of these technical aspects increases exponentially as the size of the work increases. When a solo artist can no longer pick up her work by herself, there is a significant difference in the making process. For me, creating these large vessels involved the help of others at numerous points in the process. Particularly since the kiln they were fired in was over twenty miles (some of it over bumpy gravel roads) from my studio. Thus, they had to be carefully loaded, transported, and unloaded in an unfired state. In making large scale work there is simply more planning and thinking ahead that has to happen for the piece to be successful. Both the artistic exploration and the technical challenge and how they interact are important to me.
Although my current work lacks an overt narrative and on one level deals largely with formal issues of line, shape, mass, texture etc., my hope is that my work communicates with others on a level outside the spectrum of speech and conscious thought. I endeavor to communicate directly with the viscera of my fellow humans. The spacial relations and formal visual components of my work are the result of an ongoing personal exploration into the ability of physical space to resonate within the human spirit. It is my belief that a similar line of inquiry over centuries led to the development of such ideas and philosophies as the Golden Mean and Feng Shui. I think of myself not only as a sculptor, but also as a temporal artist, exploring and crafting this interaction between humans and objects. Ultimately, I am searching for a deeper understanding of the human spirit and its relationship to the things and space around us.