The work that I’ve made together with my journaling bares witness to the importance of exploring my ongoing mediation between intuition and reason. Certainly dualisms like this are a persistent part of our lives but what interests me in this construct is the mediation experience. Through the window of my studio work I look for an understanding of the effect this mediation has on me.
My naturalist self observes a fluid less binary world that encourages my intuitive side and presents a deeply satisfying feeling of completeness. Complete yet full of mysteries and complexities. Crispin Sartwell proposes that the shared sense of the beautiful is evidence of a longing for this sense of completeness, for the sublime. My studio work is a conduit for insights into this beauty and sublimity and I find the best results come through an organic process, an unscripted exchange between accretion and deletion.
In balance with this impulsive process my maker self is consumed with reasoning through the choosing of materials, making connections, considering surfaces and obsessing over details . Most of my studio time is spent making, however there is always a rich conversation between the making and the conceptualizing.
My bliss then is finding a sweet balance between head and heart and experiencing the attendant personal growth. Making the piece titled “Trial” was particularly blissful. I discovered a more expansive concept of a trial. Trials in the legal construct tend to be zero-sum events, a distillation into either positive or negative components, a binary system. In making this piece I explored the contrast between this trial as judgement and a trial as a strengthening experience like positive self-criticism or peer criticism where the depth of the experience is fueled by a desire, to reach, to stretch, to challenge, etc. I still do not fully understand what this piece is about but I am thankful for where it has taken me. It has become clear that the piece has taken on the “seeing eye” thing for me which has a strange correlation to The Great Seal that is on a one dollar bill. The pyramid with the all seeing eye . The “Eye of God”, or the “Eye of Providence”. Is it my eye, the eye of the other or both?
“re-pair” is a piece I made in Oregon. Oregon embraced me and focused me on an interesting contradiction particular to this region that relates to my work. The Northwest is a mecca for contemporary alternative lifestyle that values earth stewardship which stands in sharp contrast to a long history of clear cut logging and commercial timber production that’s been devastating to the environment and habitats. The new Portland was familial to me, it felt comfortable. I was compelled to explore the relationship of this new culture to that of the old Portland and how that disconnect related to my own experience as someone who relies on trees to make my work. The romance of timbering is chilled by the realities of the clear-cut. In the presence of an old growth Doulas Fir, a 2 X 4 takes on a different value. My affinity for wood as a medium is invigorated by the life that a tree represents, logging then is an inconvenient truth that I don’t often confront. This piece is for me a conversation about reparation.
Finally, I offer these reflections about my work.
Am I one thing?
There are those incongruities…
Balancing am I… always