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Clay Body and the Sister

The Clay Body and the Sister
Notes about sculpture and my return to clay

The last time I worked in clay I was in a studio that was an industrial workshop;   Bethune Studio University of Buffalo, 1980 - 1983.  The in-house aesthetic was pragmatic and formal bowing to the post modern heroes of action and physics, Carl Andre, Mark Disuvero and Richard Sera.   Lots of casting and welding, people building heavy things. This milieu fitted my own sensibilities of action and objectivity.  The clay-work I produced was also industrial, sometimes an imitation of strength, always referring to the “built” environment. 

You can see these influences in the clay-work from that time, this theme of the contradictory nature of materials is seen throughout this gallery of my sculpture work from that time.  

That was 35 years ago. Since then  I have worked across many mediums, painting, drawing printing  and lots of sculpture,  raised a family and now the climate is collapsing and the government is complicit.   My focus has changed.  II have been most interested in the natural state of the earth and the natural state of people.    

    The forms I am making now in clay refer to the body.  That is where I begin.   The forms refer to seeds as a container for life, potential growth and the generation of an isometric shape,.   Seeds by their nature refer to something that is much larger than themselves.  I am interested in the action of growth,   the generation of a form  from a point,  an initial action and how it plays out to conclusion, seeds as containers of potential, by their nature referring to something much larger than themselves.    

My ideas continue.  This fragile, fleshy clay body is to be planted, layered up in a way where it is living from top to bottom, a specimen of an eco-system, an environment that is miniature and alive, collected and contained.   Yet these are impossible forms.   It is as if they have been picked from a tree.  They have no way to stand on their own.  

I will fashion a bracing with steel  to hold them up, so I can stand with my body next to the clay body,  something that you might find in natural history museum.  Sculpture begins this way, with an impulse   or a desire.  This is my relationship to objects.  


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