When I first came to California, I took a workshop at the Mendocino Arts Center with sculptor Stephen de Staebler. He talked of just grabbing pieces around his studio and reusing them on new work, which at the time horrified me. I had assumed that artists create a piece and that’s it, there’s a end to the process, that’s how you call a piece ‘finished’. But I’ve learned over time that you are never finished making art or working on a piece, there is always evolution but hardly ever resolution. One piece builds on the next and what you’ve learned challenges you to explore more. I’ve really come to like that this can be really exciting and exploratory for a series of work and now it’s become a normal part of the process for me.
Below are the same 200+/- pieces from the Hive Series installed in two very different ways.
I’m planning two large installations for the upcoming Clay & Glass Exhibit in Healdsburg CA and I’ll be reusing existing pieces to create entirely new works. Both pieces are from the Bone Series but one will be wall mounted and one will be suspending from the ceiling. Below is a sketch of the wall piece I plan to create. The lines will be steel cables connecting the ceramic pieces together and they will be floating a few inches off the wall. I’m hoping that with gallery lighting, this will cast intense shadows on the wall and enhance the negative space between the pieces.
I love that while I’ve worked with these pieces many times before the outcome will be new and the process of installing will be honed. There is still the element of surprise, the danger of failure and the possibilities of learning.