Oh! Oh! Oh!
Don’t you love it when you have an idea for a piece and you Google the technique to get started and an amazing artist pops up in the search?
I Googled how to slipcast twigs and the work of Dawn Stetzel came up in the search. Intrigued by the poststamp sized image on my screen I clicked on her blog post about her MFA thesis show.
What a beautiful show!
It addresses many of the same themes which resonate with me as an artist. Nature, twigs, earth, eggs, leaves – all rendered with a delicate strength and pared down elegance.
To see the entire show and read her full statement CLICK HERE
Tower is a precarious structure about the vulnerability that comes from needing support from other humans in order to survive. Tower begins with thin, almost transparent, porcelain slip-cast leaves, each oval leaf with an individual pattern of delicate veins. Numerous leaves are placed, one-on-top-of-another, to create a precarious, six foot tall, towering stack of white leaves. The instability of the tower is enhanced by the undulation of the leaf column and its placement high overhead. The structure supporting the leaves is sparse; it begins with a minimal platform of thin, spindly twigs attached to the wall, and continues upwards with a few twig pegs jutting out of the wall for additional brief support. The platform and pegs create a structure which makes the propped up stack of leaves possible, but just barely. A thin-shelled, warmly toned, porcelain egg perches atop the teetering stack. The egg is so far out of reach and similar in color, that it is almost not visible, requiring careful, or sustained observation in order to see the partially camouflaged egg. The leaves create a fragile landscape in which the egg may rest, but not a completely safe place to rest. The survival of the stack, thus the egg, is in peril.
I remember myself at nine years old, on a warm summer day, walking through a dense, moving carpet of seven hundred and fifty yellow goslings at my neighbor's apple orchard. The goslings' fuzzy, delicately small bodies, huddled together, creating a widespread layer of fragile life. My steps were careful as I walked within this sea of life, and at the same time, the goslings responded to my movement through their mass. The awareness, and the quiet, gentle responsive motion between the goslings and myself, continues to inspire and influence my work.