Profiles in Courage

The four parts of this piece can be viewed together or apart. They fit together in a descending height.

one
one
two
two
three
three
four
four
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Vertebrae
32″ x 18″ x 10″

Vertebrae
Whole
33″ x 20″ x 12″
Whole
Lean In
30″ x 19″ x 13″
Lean In
Disguise
29″ x 19″ x 18″
Disguise

Spoiled

I got ahold of a chair that had curvy aprons. Usually straight aprons form the heart of my sculptures. We were out running errands and passed a long, triangular collection of old furniture used to living outdoors. We always stop for places like this. I was immediately impressed. Robin, the businesswoman, said she would take a donation for the stuff I wanted. Stuff she didn’t have a chance in hell to sell to anyone else.

The first thing I picked up was the scroll work diagonally across the upper middle of this piece. It was bigger than this chunk, it was gorgeous and came from what was a very good chair at birth.

Contrapposto 2019
28″ x 18″ x 11″

Later we found the chair off of which the scroll work fell. That chair had curvy aprons on three sides.

That’s the thing about wooden things living out in the weather. Most of the tough separation work has been done for you. The chairs are falling apart and it’s just perfect. The three major shapes in this piece were found that day.

Contrapposto is a Greek word referring to the way a human figure stands as we handle the weight of our body most efficiently. We stick out a hip and bend the opposite leg. The Greeks knew about this, and then the information was lost in the Early Christian world. The Renaissance rediscovered the phenomenon, and is one of the many reasons we call the Renaissance masters “Humanist”. Thinkers were observing nature now, as well as thinking about Christianity. You can see it readily in the art from the period.

Caryatid 2019
24″ x 20″ x 17″

Guess I am going through a Greek stage in my art making. A “caryatid” is a female figure which is carved into or applied to Greek architecture. I see the diagonal shape at the lower right as a caryatid. The chair leg at the left looks like a simple Ionic (there I go again) column to me.

At the top, there is more of that fancy scroll work used in the first example.

Back to my spoilage. Having started this discussion about aprons, curvy ones, let me post some “casual” photos. My friend the Art Curator gave me this term. It means photos taken by me in an ordinary atmosphere. Ones that give people who are knowledgeable about what they are looking at can still see the thing given all the background interference.

I want you to see the curvy aprons that have so excited my work and me.

Wound 2019
21″ x 17″ x 14″

Chair aprons usually have a series of parallel lines across them, as in above.

See the gentle “S” curve?

Fate and Circumstances

And luck.

Anne Patchett wrote this morning in the Washington Post about creative influence.

www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/snoopy-taught-me-how-to-be-a-writer/2019/07/12/8db3ce3c-a31b-11e9-b7b4-95e30869bd15_story.html?utm_term=.8924860bda3d

It is about how one looks at their life, where they are, what connects one day to the other and how one extracts some kind of meaning out of the whole thing. Knowledge comes from making connections between unlike things.

How can my work about women’s lives come from trash?

Christine Lagarde
20″ x 17″ x 6″

Because trash is what I love, it is free and I can remake it in my own voice. It IS my voice. There is no difference between me and this trash.

Why Christine Lagarde?

Every morning I rise to the computer to see if there are actions taken by anyone to remind me of the world I used to know. I know how she attained her current position, Chairperson of the IMF. You might remember a little story about the former Chair who acted up with a hotel maid in NYC a few years ago, before the #MeToo movement. Even now, I can see this man in Court, in public, struggling to believe what was happening to him (which was his own fault). The way he sat in his chair before the judge said everything. He fell a long way. And Christine fell into her new job.

Recently, June 29th, Christine held her position against the grifters in America, the Trump family. Ivanka tried to elevate herself into a discussion between Macron, May, Trudeau and Lagarde. It did not go well and Lagarde was especially visual. She was my champion.

Christine Lagarde (reverse)
20″ x 17″ x 6″

And so I documented her victory in my voice.

I just now read that today is the 230th anniversary of Bastille Day! See how this works?

Symbiosis 2019

I am experimenting with sculpture that has more than one part and that can be assembled in different compositions. Look at the differences between the image above and the succeeding compositions of the two chairs.

Above is one part of the Symbiosis composition. Notice the compelling subtle curve at the left? The bottom of the line is part of a wooden crutch.

And here is the other.

I am part of a group of four who have been accepted to show at the Spartanburg Museum of Art in January 2020. I am hoping to show this piece and another that has four parts. The one that has four parts is too large for me to photograph.

Above is one-fourth of “Profiles in Courage”.

Side table

This is a small table in service to a chair. It sits next to the chair and absorbs its overflow. It might contain a small side table landscape. Its importance is in relation to the chair.

I see no reason why my work with chairs shouldn’t flow into side tables. Perhaps one day, I might create a whole dining set. Juries currently like this kind of work.

Side Table 2019
24″ x 17″ x 9″

This piece contains a chair leg which was very much water-damaged. At my source for chair parts, I have tried to stay away from pieces that are crumbling from damage. One got by my observation. It is on the far left here. I fed it into my sander until the crumbs flew away, and then started sanding lines into the hard wood that remained.

Now I want to do more of this, but no sufficiently damaged legs are here. Damn. This piece uses a couple of lengths of a wooden crutch, which have nice subtle lines. There is one piece of a Tinker Toy which is the first one I’ve seen since hunting for wood.

Holes in the wooden parts help unify the design. There are holes in the Tinker Toy part, the crutch parts, and one big hole surrounded by a handle.

Having booked an exhibition in New York state in a venue which brags of owning only two pedestals, I am now experimenting with making some out of used palettes. My husband introduced me to the tool of the “pry bar”. It is lethal and unpredictable. Use only at your own risk!

Upcoming Exhibitions

“Vertabrae” has been chosen for an exhibition in Fayetteville, NC. It’s name is “Reclaimed!” and work must be made from waste and have had another job in its life. Waste Management, of course, is a sponsor of this event.

The exhibition will be held at The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County from June 28 through August 17, 2019.

“Domestic” will be shown at the Virginia Beach Art Center from July 5 through August 11, 2019. “Fusion Mid-Atlantic” is the name of the exhibition and work must combine two or more mediums. Aluminum is the second medium here.

An aluminum armrest from a 1960’s folding outdoor chair is included as well as a spiral from a screen door, which is on the other side of the piece.

“Solo” is going to Virginia Beach as well.

Studio walk-through

Chairs rise up on the path to the back of the barn. Stacked upon themselves at about the height of eight feet, I keep hoarding old chairs, more than I should, for fear the free ones will vanish.

Glenn’s collection of bicycles is a nice addition. Stalactites and stalagmites.

I have so much raw material there is no room to store the art product. But the chairs are so perfect for me; they have been rained on and elements of the chairs that are made of multiple pieces of wood kind of crack apart into beautiful detail.

See how the upright leg on the left has lost about a quarter of itself? Failed glue. A part of the leg stripped away leaving a clean cut. I couldn’t have created this myself. I needed years of rain. Same is true for the foot of the chair. Part of it has been sheared off because of failed glue. I save these parts to use in other pieces.

It would be very close in the studio if I couldn’t open a door to the outside. Hummingbirds fly in. A possum ran in one late evening. The studio is the best place to be.

On my workbench sits “Whole”.

“Whole” 2019

Lean In, Y’all

Lean In 2019
30″ x 19″ x 15″

We all remember this title from the book by Sheryl Sandburg. The term means to grab opportunities without hesitation.

Not bad advice really, but one has to wonder as Facebook defends mountains of questionable decisions. Every action has a reaction as this chair displays in seeking equilibrium.

Advances in one part of your life will require changes in another. That’s not to say that it doesn’t create a more interesting composition.

But you still have to be able to stand.

Domestic

Domestic 2019
38″ x 19″ x 13″

Aprons, wooden spoons, metal scrub brushes all point to getting domestic in my work.

Not that this chair is any kind of self-portrait. Experiencing quite the opposite as former priorities are reshuffled to have more time to work on art, the houses and gardens are suffering. My fault.

The back of this piece features the armrest of a folding aluminum chair; the kind everyone used to have in the sixties. The front of the piece has a part of an old aluminum screen door from the same era. I love aluminum, but that is another story.