|The George Peterson Gallery|
The work I produced during the 2000 ITE began months before the actual residency. I was inspired by the thought of a large, well-equipped shop and of making sculpture that went beyond what I was currently making. I began to keep a notebook of ideas for work that I wanted to produce, while continuing to make my usual stuff. Inevitably, these new ideas crept into the work I was doing, and I had some significant creative breakthroughs. Two of my goals for the residency were to produce work in a larger scale than is possible in my studio and the other was to push my work into new areas. The discoveries I made before the ITE were the seeds for the work I produced during the residency.
My ITE work can be divided into two groups. The first are the tall, totem-like pieces (08, 09, 13) and the black Shield (07). These represent ideas Ive had for some time, but had not the means to produce. I had intended to develop these even larger but ran out of time. I am pleased with my efforts and will continue to push the forms and textures in the future. The second, larger group consists of three themes that stem from one discovery and illustrate the steps in my creative process.
The pieces At Home in Your Arms (03) and Untitled (04), both done in cherry, illustrate the first step. I used a chain saw to rough out the blank. Then I cut a grid into the wood. I like the simple, bold lines left by the saw. The grid breaks up the surface of the wood into blocks, creating small, patterned areas of texture/grain, and the entire grid makes up a larger overall pattern. There is a layering effect of texture and grain that plays out in the surface, and the deep cuts made by the saw add lines and shadows that change depending on ones perspective of the object. The other side(s) are minimally turned with grooves that intersect the rough sawn blank, leaving uneven or partially-scribed circles.
While looking at the first of these grid pieces, I realized that I could break off the protruding blocks and create an entirely new surface. This I combined with a different shape and texture, creating Buddhas Mirror (16) and also the first of my taller, non-turned sculptures. These are the seeds I brought to the residency. The work Ive produced during the ITE show the next steps in this series.
I am inspired by primitive and naïve art. The creative urge is so present in this type of work, and that is something that I try to express in my art, that basic need to say what I cannot say with words. I have learned a great deal about creativity from observing the action of the forest where I live. At times it seems chaotic, disordered and brutal, and at other times graceful and delicate. What I have learned from it is that destruction, decay and disorder have as much to do with the creative act as construction and growth. One leads to the other, continually cycling, recombining and changing. It never ends. New forms emerge as the old ones disintegrate.