Jewlery for the Wall and its Cosmic Connection

Back in the late 90’s I returned to my fascination with the circular format.  I had visited it before in a series of landscapes.  They were largely a romantic homage to Mother Earth,  usually with a surreal feeling.  These two I still own.  The first is “Cactus, Crystals & Cries” and the purple one is an “Homage to Mother Earth”.Cactus, Crystals & Cries e Homage to Mother Earth e But by the late 90’s the round paintings had morphed into round relief sculpture,  devoid of objects, but not devoid of subject matter.  Not for me anyway.  They looked like large brooches and thus the name Jewelry for the Wall was catchy for a web-site, despite the fact that in art world terms, jewelry is ordinarily purely ornamental (code for not fine art) and thus personally political.  Political in that it is a personal statement of who the wearer is.  It can reveal rank, personality, mood, identity, etc.

For myself, I saw these sculptures as symbolic designs and meditative icons. They spoke of cosmic awareness,  cosmic connection, sacred space, sacred ground.  All of this was revealed in the shapes and movements, and titles.  The circle inspires the concept of one.  We are one.  We are not separate, not really.  We are connected to each to each other and to everything else in the universe.  That is the basis for life and until that is understood and accepted, we continue to destroy everyone and everything.  So I started these pieces on a round format and then intersected it with lines and shapes and textures.  It was in my mind connecting the ideas of sacred space, sacred geometry and myth and science into a beautiful mandala of sorts.

Cosmic Lullaby

This piece, shown here on my kitchen wall before it was shipped to the patron, is a sculpture from my Cosmic Lullaby series.  The 4 pieces cartwheeling down the ladder are shapes that I repeated on many pieces and I called them nebula’s, a term describing an interstellar cloud of gas and dust.  The long straight bars form a ladder, another motif I’ve used often.  The crackle on the round backplate has a spiraling pattern like the galaxies in our universe.

 

 

 

Another motif I’ve returned to often is the horizon, which plays major importance in our vision of landscape,seascape and in our understanding of the theoretical boundary of a black hole in space.  It separates light and darkness.  Here it is on a piece called “Distance”

Distance

The circular orbit is another cosmic motif I’ve returned to time and again.  Here it is shown in a piece called “Lunar Orbit”.Lunar OrbitsI’ve also used the motif of the wave often.  The wave refers to the movement of energy whether it is sound, light, water or particles.  Here it can be seen on “Jazz Nights”.  On this piece and others as well, I combined symbols that evoke messages of rhythm, the cosmic round, the ladder to heaven and the cubes are a symbol of Earth.  Jazz Nights

I introduced a variety of cultural influences in this body of work also.  I refer to these loosely as the East Meets West series because they invariably have subtle shapes that evoke cross-cultural ideas such as eastern architecture with latin rhythms.  Examples shown below are “Window to the World” from the Samurai sub-series,  and “Flamenco” which combines an eastern roof-line feel with the nebulas and a hot Latin painting.

window to the worldFlamenco e

I was never good at communicating face to face with people about my work in anything other than how it was made, the materials and tools used, or the color.  Anything else and I always reverted to that childhood mindset that  I couldn’t make myself understood to those around me, or that they would disapprove.  The closest I came to explaining my relief sculpture was in the WSIU Expressions with Najar in which I told that The Queen of the Night was inspired by the book of photographs taken by Cosmonauts and Astronauts and that was true, but it was just a small part of the story.  Queen has those classic elements that I use to convey the spirit of the Universe.  That’s her meaning.  We are one with the Earth and the Earth is one with the Cosmos.  It’s our sacred duty to respect that.  Queen of the Night

Gliding Into the Harbor

We took that line quite literally and slipped right into making abstract sculpture of a mythological icon, the boat.  Many cultures have a mythology of the boat as the vessel of the spiritual journey.  Sometimes it was meant to carry the soul  to the afterlife.  It was also the vessel savior of humans and animals in the great flood, known to cultures all over the globe.

Aside from all that it’s the symbol of the first celebrated world explorers, the sailors.  In more ordinary terms, the boat is associated with our fascination with bodies of water, and a variety of ways to enjoy that water, all of which comes back to life.

So we’re making boat sculptures and something’s happening.  It’s the coming together of a lot of things, all at once.  It’s a weaving of surface, form and meaning.  It’s the utilization of years of designing, of experimenting, of evolving.  It’s a time for bringing symbolic meaning into form.  It’s been an amazing process so far.

It started from the story of missing the boat and then this past fall I was looking again at a sketch I did a while back which was a boat shape, with some additions.  It came to me then how to make it a collaborative piece, combining wood and metal in a manner in which Robin and I could both enjoy.  We’re now smitten.

The contribution we each make varies a lot from boat to boat.  The design/debates/discussions have been lively.  The exploration is wonderful.  Each boat has its own story, its own character.  One of our latest boats edges into taking on The Book Series–its deck carries a cargo of a Dear John letter.

John Boat letter

Don’t Miss the Boat

Artists can’t afford to miss the boat.  A lost opportunity means a harder journey.  In order to grow, which is the ultimate aim of the artist, one has to take risks.  You have to experiment and many of those turn out badly.  You have to take chances to evolve.  Not just any risk, but one that sets sail with good intention.

The boat is the symbol for the spiritual journey and as such it is the perfect icon for Robin and I to explore.  The first date we had, he revealed to me that he owned a 17 foot red, yes I said red, Old Town canoe.  Without missing a stroke, I asked him to marry me.  I was kidding of course, or so I thought.   One’s subconscious knows infinitely more than the conscious and so maybe she already knew his soul and knew he was who I was looking for.  She probably already knew he had similar goals and philosophy. A year after that we began a 24/7 relationship that is going strong and can survive which ever boat life presents.

By the way, later that first evening, I told him that I was an artist and that as a matter of fact that very afternoon I had bought a new table saw.  He said, “Oh, really!  Will you marry me?”

Pea Pod Boat

Pea Pod Boat