This sculpture was inspired by a dream I had during my last trip to Europe. I woke from a dream of lying on the cool mud of a bog, the hot sun on my back as I watched sprays of crystal water rising up out of a spring, then breaking into a million sparkling tears and falling back to the land. After a time, three little snakes wiggled out of the water, up into the air, up into the water sprays and the tears.
Sleep ended but that dream stayed, nagging at me until I cut and hammered and welded it into physical form. And in the cutting and hammering and welding I suddenly saw it for what it was. A dream of Florida long gone, its beautiful landscape buried under a mountain of blacktop, which brings me to tears. But at the same time, a dream of Florida as the wellspring from which my conscious mind grew, and where my unconscious mind still grows, streams of consciousness flowing from me as lithe and joyous and wiggly as little snakes.
Then, last night, in a parking lot, as I got out of my car, I snapped the photo below of a fruit-bearing palm tree. The living heart of the plant and the roots hanging down into space seemed so evocative of my own attempts to convey how I perceive the system and the connections of the human culture.
When I look back and forth from quickly-snapped photo of the palm tree to my sculpture WaterFlowingDreamLandscapeWithSnakes, I see once again how growing up in the Florida landscape (back when there was still wilderness) impacts all my work.
This image is a map of the island of Mallorca, off the Coast of Spain where my friends live. The island shape looks like a "donkey head" as they say, and so I made a couple of these map outlines for them as gifts.
When I created my first series of these kinetic aluminum sculptures, I called them "Synchronicity Antennas." Somehow, while the form continues to intrigue me, that title does not.
The word "antenna" just doesn't sit right. I'm trying to figure out a title whose meaning implies both “receiving & transmitting." “Antenna” is receiving, and a “transmitter” is “sending out," so……I'm still trying to figure a specific title. "Translator” might be a better word. What do you think?
I think I'll try sleeping on it and see if my dreams suggest something. Strange, isn't it, how art lets us put into form all sorts of thoughts, ideas and concepts that can't be put into words. But as soon as the art is created, we have to attach words to it in the form of titles and descriptions!
I've always been interested in the surreal work of Salvidor Dali, but since becoming a docent at the Salvidor Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, I've developed a deeper understanding of Dali, and along with that, a deeper appreciation for his work. Recently we saw a film that explored the relationship between Salvidor Dali and French mathematician René Thom.
Dali met with Thom several times over the years to discuss what Thom called his singularity theory, as well as the theory Thom became known for worldwide, his catastrophe theory. Dali drew on Thom's work as an inspiration for several of his mystical drawings and paintings. In fact, the last painting Salvidor Dali created in his life was The Swallow's Tail, based on Thom's catastrophe theory
After seeing the film, I went to my studio and worked out an idea of my own inspired by the ideas in the film, so I call this
Meeting Dali And Thom
Below are individual photos of each of the pieces.
|Here's a look at Dali's last work, based on the Thom's theory.
Dali posing with The Swallow's Tail
French mathematician René Thom at work.
Here's a drawing (not by Dali) that is often used to illustrate Thom's catastrophe theory. You can see that I drew on that "wave" for my sculpture.
I created these wire forms after attending a lecture on Carl Jung's theory that there is an order to the universe that connects everything to everything else. He reasoned that this order did not allow for accidents; that all things happen on purpose. He coined the word "synchronicity" to describe why two seemingly unrelated events sometimes seem to display an underlying relationship. Jung said that: "The synchronicity has to see with the space-time relation, and time and space are coordinates in order to describe the behavior of bodies in movement".
My wire "bodies in movement," are coordinates in time and space, kinetically hanging to spin. These aluminum wire pieces about 14" in diameter, very light weight, 1/8" aluminum wire about 11 ft long, wrapped around a concentrically turning elipse, not touching other wires until the end of the wire.
The Synchronicity Antennas below were photographed oudoors near my front door. I like the idea that they're free to move in the breeze and pull in any synchrocity that may be floating by!
"This is pastel drawing of a past sculpture. I had made the drawing and given it to friends who had the aluminum sculpture in their back yard for a while. I moved the aluminum piece back to my yard, and they have the drawing, of which I just got a documentary photo to keep."
My aluminum "Masks" are a continued series of work that has been ongoing through the years. I usually work out a series of about 15-25 pieces. The actual number of masks I work on as a series is determined by the size of the aluminum sheeting I'm working with. I waste very little material by cutting all the "face" shapes contiguous with each other.
The "Masks" are stylized in a sense, and are fun to create. Each mask has a unique shape stylized with nose, mouth and eyes. Each face has to be visually studied, balanced, cut out in order to make visual sense. As I work out a series, I also make minor changes from previous series. For example, "ears" have been added to this series.
I finish the aluminum surface with my own unique surface treatment and smooth the edges to a finished touch.
The aluminum wire "hair" is the last of welding fabrication to complete the composition
and is the most explosive element of the of composition. How I style that hair seems to run in various stages of creativity. The hair always makes me laugh!
The Masks can be tricksters. Sometimes you cannot see the "face" until someone "says" what the aluminum piece actually is. Once "said," that's all you can really see the masks as being.
The Masks are fun to make. They have a certain spirit of humor for me, one that I hope viewers enjoy, too.
I welcome your comments on my work.
||The Bubo is an aluminum sculptural wall piece that was inspired by a photo given to me. In order to translate the photograph into metal work, I first resized the image, and traced the outside of the Bubo. However, as the original photo was of a three dimensional object, and taken from a side view, rather than a face-on view, I had to take some artistic license in reinterpreting the image to be made as a metal work.
| My goal was to stay true to the original image, doing a fairly close resemblance (or translation) of the image from the actual "side view." It's basically one large eye from the side view. All this might not be so easy to see in the photos. However the final aluminum piece is what it is… a sculptural metal interpretation of a photographed image.
I call photos "image manipulations." It's a photo, however the image is actually manipulated to start with, either by the choices the photographer makes while taking the image, or later on, by using software. A camera takes a picture and then the image is "reproduced." So to me a very general category of photos are manipulated images. So some of my work begins with manipulated images which I further manipulate by translating them into aluminum.
Bubo is the name given to the horned owl, also known as the eagle owl.