My first blog post!
In the past, I have struggled with keeping a diary, or notes in the studio. Active thoughts on things I’m making..….why I’m even creating in the first place, the layers of colors I’ve used…these things seem to get lost along the way. I have a stack of sketch pads that contain my life’s work and thoughts, but it’s a cacophony of symbols and tones only I could ever decipher.
So I’m thinking of this blog as a way to keep track of my own art making process. I hope it can help those interested in my art to better understand the work itself, how my brain works when processing ideas, and the glazing/painting/finishing techniques I use. I really just want to type away freely here and not worry about writing some sort of masterpiece, so excuse all the fragmented sentences and such.
I’ve been thinking about the art of communication. (That sentence, in itself, could serve as the basis for somebody’s thesis, eh?) Words are so precious, and necessary, yet how difficult it can be to summon even the most basic words in times of stress or discomfort. We trap words inside our heads, our hearts. We fling them out uncensored and damaging. They choke our throats and die in swallows…..Little letters all strung together into meanings and sounds with so much power behind them. I’ve been thinking…..and now this latest group of figures is based on those thoughts. On words, on sounds, on communication.
Babel/ The Tower of Babel/ Babbling… I’m fascinated with the legends of the tower itself and the Biblical story intertwined. A giant swarm of people coming together, speaking one language and reaching to the heavens with a spiraling tower miles high. So large, some say, that inns and restaurants and stables for animals dotted the pathways up and around to the top. Can you imagine such a thing? As the story goes, God was none too happy with the cockiness of the people, so he befuddled them with thousands of languages, and thus our multi-lingual world was born… with tongues and cultures and currencies galore, as the befuddled masses splintered off into their own sects and societies. Pondering the Tower of Babel, and the implications of general communication ceasing to exist…Thinking of the fun mayhem which must have ensued….thinking of architecture and language and the structure of all this… And now I have this sculpture starting to form.
By the way, lots of folks have been intrigued by this tale. If you want to see a collection of artist renderings on the tower, check out this site: Cultured.com Group:The Tower of Babble
So on day one of building this sculpture, my version isn’t spiraling. It’s stacked and is topped with a funnel, an object I attach to many of my sculptures as a means of conveying the transfer of something. In this case, words. This figure, which is a self portrait, is holding onto Babel for dear life. Clinging to the keeper of all languages, words, and secrets.