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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sculpture and Time

The little monk carving and soap bubbles
These days, I'm not so interested in technique. It's a strong part of making art, but it alone is not art. The bigger questions are far more interesting.

The Nobel Prize in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, asked in class, "Can anyone explain the difference between infinity and eternity?

Student Marc Lanthemann answered, "Infinity is an abslolute, whereas eternity is a temporal relation. Infinity is a general property of having no bounds, whereas eternity is a property of time."
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It's nice to know the difference.

I'd say that most artists would love to sell an infinite amount of work, to insure their survival, but artists are far more interested in eternity because art is all about relationships. This moment to that object.

For those lucky (and stubborn) enough to work in the natural materials of stone or wood,  time is ever present at our fingertips. We carve through years or centuries, layer by layer. It is an honor to work with embodied time. We want to do right by such lovely material and quite literally do not want to waste time.

However long my own sculpture work takes me, I want it to capture a moment in time. I'm interested in making sculpture that embodies a stillness that can slow or stop you. A stillness that draws you in to quiet contemplation and makes you aware of everything going on around you. With my wood carvings, you see the object but you are also able to see through the years with each growth ring.

Is infinity or eternity an aspect of your art making?
Still Thoughts by Patrick Gracewood ©2010

4 comments:

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Is infinity or eternity an aspect of my art making? I never thought of it in quite those terms, but what I do know is that time seems to bend when I'm in the creative process. I am in a different state of consciousness, and because I am in the moment, all time is suspended for me.

Another question might be, if we could always be in the moment, would we age at all? ... Mark

Jennifer Tetlow said...

A sculpture carved, would by default capture a moment in time - my desire is to excite in the viewer,their giving of a life as they see it for the piece, and that the piece allows for an infinite number of possibilities, without effort. Eternity would be those wishes as grains of sand pushed and pulled back to earth.

We would of course be gnarled and old, but sublimely unaware of it!

Alan said...

If space is infinite and time is eternal, then space-time is infernal. The question is: Is your work infernal?

Patrick Gracewood said...

Alan,
I have a burning desire to create, and my work is full of inferences, so yes, my sculpture is infernal....