After creating art for many decades, always wedged in between other full time employment, these past few years can best be described as emerging as a professional artist. Thanks to the Central Minnesota Arts Board (centralmnartsboard.org), there is an art grant that imitates life, known as an emerging artist grant or “Individual Artist Award”. Grants and award do imitate life and I submitted the required paperwork and the following six art works created over the past five years for my application:
This is mostly just mud/clay, taken out of a 5 gallon pickle slop bucket that I dump all my white and brown clays into, recycling them. The theme of our Artist’s Guild Art Crawl Exhibit to be displayed at The Gallery Saint Germain this past August was “On the Edge!” And I’m thinking of this woman on the edge of a cliff, ready to either throw herself off, or escape into flight! Here’s the drawing for that:
And if you look closely at that “ooze” below you can see her form beginning to take shape:
But it’s all so blurry and mushy and ‘formless and void’ as Genesis 1 talks about (‘tohu va bohu” in the original Hebrew language). I was trying to convey the deep swirling emotions flowing around this desperate, depressed, hopeless woman….though maybe she was going to fly???
I’ve created art for many years and art certainly does imitate life, but this is a work of art that mostly dictated to me what it was going to be and become by nature of it’s subject and it’s process to be completed. First of all it was too big to be fired in our electric kilns at the Paramount. I knew I was going to have to break it into three pieces to fire it:
Secondly, the relief sculpture was difficult to clearly see the kind of strong, stark image I wanted to create and convey. I began carving into the clay and beneath the mass of grey and brown homogeneous mud there emerged an amazing, beautiful marbled clay relief that changed and deepened each time I carved more away. I didn’t know what to expect – every part of the clay surface was unique and revealing. My greatest surprise was at the bottom center where a portal was revealed ~ like an empty tomb. It made me better define my title: “On the Edge of Flight or Destruction ~ A Way Out, or a Way Through?” For many, self destruction may be their only way out….but for others, there’s a way through our pain and shame toward healing and a recycled life.