There doesn’t have to be a story connected to sculpture for it to mean something, but it can help to pass it’s meaning on, and bring it to a place where it’s valued more. Some folks are attached to valuing a sculpture in relation to it’s meaning. Does it have an interesting origin story, does it describe a narrative, or contain pathos, comedy, a psychology to be resolved? The relationship between an artist and their art is the medium of self discovery. It is the authenticity of that process which creates value, but defies description, and certainly defies questions of time or money. This is why it’s hard to price one’s art, and why I always dodge the question, How long did it take to make that?
While attempting to explain my sculpture, my process, my thinking at the last PNWS Member potluck. Someone asked about a sculpture on a back shelf , a wire, glass and concrete collaboration, Dave Gonzo and I made in 2016 titled: Prometheus.
The trickster god, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus, gave it to mortals, and then was cursed for his defiance. Zeus had him nailed to a mountain where an eagle would eat away at his liver and heart, which would grow back to be eaten again, which would repeat forever, but he gets rescued by Hercules. Gods and their fun, stories we can hold lightly, but return to again and again.
A hand gently grasps a sphere which extends into wildly radiating wire curves, all wiggling independently from each other, yellow glass accenting the gelatinous cloud of energy. All of this extending from a base of concrete and steel painted with a fantasy of fire and resembling a volcano. This is the frozen moment of creation, raw material/energy transformed into poetry. Besides stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans, it’s said that Prometheus created humans from clay. A trickster god made we humans in an act of rebellion giving us the power to create civilization, culture and potentially the technology of our own destruction. Fire burns and forges form. That truth holds hope and fate, artists explaining the unexplainable, or what should be left to silence. But if we forget, where does that part of reality go to? A personal history lost forever, or enabling people with their own self-destruction.
Stories should not be bound by time, linear, word after word, beginning-middle-end. Reality as sculpture, as community, can be approached from many sides at once. Art as the means to understand ourselves, and gatherings to share what we know about the skillful use of these potentially destructive tools. Art makes life, the unbound space between the lines, at any scale; as above, so below, Prometheus unbound. Creativity unbound and supported by a community of artists. PNWS organizes events, networking, fostering collaboration and art shows, because we know the potential is exponential. We’ve just started.
+++Andy Kennedy, President PNWS
Nov 29th meeting at Marty Eichinger’s studio 2516 SE Division st Portland 4:30 Board meeting, 6pm Potluck
Home and Garden Show (February 2024) contact: Bob Deasy
CAVE gallery show contact: Terri Elioff, Sue Qwast, Toni Parque
Raku opportunity and Vancouver Arts & Music Festival, contact: Russ Ford
Troutdale Arts Festival contact: Marlena Neilson