What is that guy doing in that river? Building a fish trap? A spirit catcher, maybe?
Photo above links to a Flickr set I took. I could work for days on a sculpture and, in the end, be less true than this man’s work emerging piece after piece over a couple of hours from the river’s rocks, his hands and his spirit.
For more of his river work, check out this post on Blog T.O
I have been exploring social constructs, especially how they are illusions masking more complex realities. In general, to think anything is ‘black & white’ is an illusion. Even the traditional yin-yang to me is inaccurate in that it appears as a closed system, where white and black are separated from each other. So how do I explore this?
In my diorama works, the family – two-dimensional as portrayed by simplistic ideologies often found in advertising and mass media programming. But, as the context shows, to imagine ‘family’ exists separate from the messy real world is an illusion. The falsity of the illusion is symbolized in the second diorama by that same family by the side of an empty road, without agency, waiting with thumb out to take a ride in someone else’s illusion of reality.
In making my chess works, I was meditating on the cycle of life and death and the place of conflict. The mother of queens shows the battering of a long life, but with strength and dignity; the young queen and king are seeing a different reality. On the boards, youth posture and fights, imagining all is black and white. But their illusions float on a sea of blood, and every in conflict everyone loses.
Last, in my yin-yang works I first opened the symbol by removing the enclosing circle. The divide between the yin and yang becomes yin and yang, and the enclosed pure circle of the opposite is replaced by slag and coral – products of our messy world. In the second, bronze piece, the pure form is populated by us in all our confusion and complexity.
White King on Flickr, the second photo set of my sculptures inspired by Chess
For the past 1-1/2 year, I have been concentrating on sculpture. Much of what I have done is virtually impossible to photograph, but I will publish some of my recent work that is more accessible to a camera. The subjects of the first posts are pieces inspired by Chess, made with the advice and support of mentors at Al Green Sculpture Studio in Toronto
‘Mother of Queens’, on my Flickr site, was the prototype for a complete collection of chess pieces. She was in that sense the mother of them all, and she was the inspiration for the Queen of the set.
At the moment, she stands at the mouth of the harbour of Humber Bay, Toronto. Is she a guardian, or is she a waiting soul remembering someone lost? Maybe both; none of us is simple, and the longer we are around the more tangled is our gestalt until, perhaps, we free ourselves of our complexities. Regardless, she shows her age, her experience, her wisdom.
Later, you will meet her progeny, freshly minted and looking, perhaps, as she did at one time.