Monday, August 23, 2010

Seeing Sculpture Everywhere

I'm working on two large sculpture panels for the Farwest Show.

I was letting the work stew until it built enough pressure to get me past my fear of beginning and fear of failing............................................................................................ Does that sound familiar?  

I was looking at two of my favorite blogs, Paradise Express and Rose Notes. Each artist was writing about their focus, Gardens and Roses, but what I saw on each blog was sculpture. Sculpture at opposite ends of the scale, architectural and intimate, palm sized.

What struck me was how invisible sculpture can be, even as it fills our daily lives. When sculpture becomes architectural, it's often too big to register as art because it's part of a building. Too small, and sculpture becomes easy to dismiss as kitsch, a toy, a keepsake. 

And yet artists, craftsmen, put their skills into making these different kinds of sculpture. It's up to us to actually SEE them. See them for themselves as objects but also to understand how these objects act as signifiers, pointing to other ideas.

Paradise Express offers a tour of Paris in August featuring these architectural scale balcony dividers, inspired by the sculpture of Michaelangelo. Goofy, 19th or early 20th Century follies, repeated they become a chorus line strip tease.... yet they remind us of a time when everyone knew the works of Michaelangelo. How many people today would get the reference?

Micro in scale is this tiny slipcast Buddha from Rose Notes. Carolyn Parker often includes poetry or a quote to accompany her photography. I loved this one
Your work is to discover your world– and then with all your heart give yourself to it.
~ Buddha

It wasn't even the focus of her main photo, yet she directed our eyes to this symbol of patience, and being. I'll bet you most folks would say they don't own any Sculpture with a capital S, but that they do own tiny works like this one. Sculpture that they love and find meaningful with out ever calling it art. 

Seeing sculpture everywhere. What "invisible" sculpture is in your life?


Theresa Cheek said...

I have some great soapstone I inherited from WWII era...brought back by an American soldier from the is signed and I love it! I also have a crude piece from Africa of a women kneading bread, she is leaning over and concentrating on her work. Both pieces are small...maybe 6 inches or less in size,,,they make me smile!

Barbara Richardson said...

Love the quote from the buddha. Any notion where he said this?