My creation, Displacement, attempts to capture the essence of our conceptual disconnection by metaphorically representing the act itself through the selecting, excavating, transporting, trimming, whittling, scraping, collecting, sanding, oiling, and reassembling of a twenty three foot eastern red cedar, roots and all. Presenting its result through the exemplification of “the tree of life” in order to reiterate the interrelations of that which is truly nature. Though at face value the tree represents an altered version of itself, by looking at it metaphorically the conceptual connections become limited to nothing. Person place and thing become one, as the audience’s outside perspective becomes reflective upon itself. Looking into a window in a sense only to reveal a clear reflection of that which was originally thought to be outside, the trees journey becomes personal as wrinkle, skin, and growth begin to relate themselves to the generalized course of life rather than to the individual traits of the tree itself.
In order to translate the accumulation of these ideas, the displacement, represented by the removal of the trees natural qualities, was realized through the process in which its own displacement took place. Removing the tree from its origin and presenting it to an audience to exemplify displacement in the literal sense and doing so in a particular manor so as to translate the complexities unseen through the final product alone. Each step within the process taking on its own importance to the end result and acting metaphorically to exemplify important sub concepts that make the final product possible.
Acting as a representation of my transition from aesthetically driven ceramic sculptures to conceptually motivated environmental undertakings, Spine, attempts to declare the beauty of nature while staying true to its own source. Constructed primarily out of palm fronds, Spine displays itself through a 3:2:1 ratioed s-curve that gradually gets smaller from front to back. Spanning over twenty feet and hanging over the viewer’s line of sight in order to cast shadow upon those captivated by its size, it attempts to represent the primal and prehistoric power that nature still holds over man.
Marking the beginning of my exploration into environmentally driven endeavors, Spine will always be regarded as one of my most important creations, helping me in the way of understanding not only who I am as an artist but most importantly as a human being aware of their surroundings.
Always a bit lost as a teenager my introduction to ceramics sophomore year of high school would mark not only the beginning of my artistic career but the finding of the sense of purpose I had been searching for in the confusion I saw the world around me to be. Starting off with simplistic projects designed to develop my understanding of the material itself I quickly moved onto experimenting on my own, manipulating the clay until the three dimensional object in front of me coincided with the image I had in my head or on paper. Moving from one art class to the next until what started as a class of election became what defined me as a person. Working under who I now consider to be a friend and part of my family, Robert Lawarre III, until my acceptance into Stetson University in 2009 where I would meet yet another irreplaceable mentor, friend, and family member, Dan Gunderson. Continuing my passion for ceramic sculpture based primarily on what I considered to be aesthetic beauty for the next two years until eventually moving onto more conceptually driven projects scaled outside of the possibilities of clay alone. For me my ceramic work has always been about capturing what I consider to be beautiful, whether the curvature of a women’s body or the strength represented by the gears of industry. Attempting to find cohesion between the organic beauty that would inspire later works and the rigidity I saw in the tools used in some cases to destroy it.