I am an artist because I can’t not be one. The creative process is part of my personal identity. It’s also been a part of my family culture for generations. I understand the World through poetry, painting, and sculpture and I find expression for my own feelings and ideas as I create.
I know this is weird in a blog, but if I have one or two constant readers, you know that weird won’t dissuade me. Plus, have you read the tag line lately?
I want to share a sculpture with you. This sculpture is about finding a spiritual path. A process of self understanding, discovery and not a little confusion.
When an artist creates a work of art, she may have an idea that she wants to convey, but there is no guarantee that a viewer will receive it. The beautiful thing about this, is that the viewer may receive a personal insight that never even occurred to the artist. I hope this will be the case for you as I talk about my process for this piece.
The basic structure and Idea came to me in a dream as ideas often do. I woke with the image in my mind and a compelling desire to create it. I have made some very conscious decisions about certain elements, and other things I did just because they felt right.I’ll describe my process and basic reasons but I’ll let you decide what they say about a journey of faith.
The frame for this object is steel rod. Solid, stable, strong. It is arranged in a grid pattern to represent regularity, but it’s not a complete grid, I left some of the lines out to form a swastika. The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit words “Su” meaning good and “Asti” meaning being. It represents “the principle originating the Universe or Life”. It is very ancient, as early as 10,000 B.C., and has been found in virtually every major civilization in the World. Before it was co-opted by the Nazi’s it was widely recognized as a poignantly positive symbol with elements of magic. I painted the base green as a symbol of life and growth.
The wooden discs are made of white oak, which has natural rot and insect resistant properties. (For this reason, it is used for wine and whiskey barrels.) The discs represent widely accepted righteous principles, but I don’t want to assign specific principles to them. Sixteen is not necessarily a significant number but It works for the grid and I wanted more than nine. I painted the disks blue to represent water. Living water, if you like. I wanted them to look old to infer that these are principles that have always been valid, so I sanded the finish back to look worn.
The wires represent paths, connections, and relationships. I chose copper for three reasons. 1) I really like the color of natural copper and there are quite a wide variety of colors it can turn depending on it’s exposure to temperature, environment and chemicals. 2) It is easy to manipulate. I can choose and create any form I want. And 3) it is very conductive, It transmits power efficiently. The beads represent significant events along the way.
One of the discs is isolated, It represents orthodoxy. The wire on this disc is at three different levels. It demonstrates the levels of the wires on the rest of the piece and, though it IS isolated, it is connected to the rest through the foundation.
So there it is. My hope in sharing, is that you will see something of yourself in this; that you can discover a new perspective on your own spiritual path which may inspire a new direction; and that you will see value in the great variety of spiritual routes as we travel together.
I haven’t named it yet, any suggestions?
Love it in every way. The picture in silhouette with the green background appeals visually to me more, but I love the symbolic way you put together the sculpture. That appeals to me as well. The first thing that comes up for me is that it looks like a game board of a game I played as a child. I try to remember that mortality is a game and its meant to be fun! the sculpture has elements of both structure and spontaneity. That would be good for me to remember about a faith transition. An overall message in the title should be something about connection and communication, don't you think? That's a big theme in the overall effect.
The idea of connection really is striking in seeing this. Without your description, I never would have tied that sense of connection to the meaning of “good being” of the swastika, but good being and connection seem very appropriately paired.
Thanks for sharing this. I am one that has difficulty with symbolism. I am too much of a rigid thinker. However, I am a visual person. So, your art helped me see symbolism.
“Spiritual Matrix” is what I would name it.
It’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing.