The Body Intrinsic
Four artists with broad aesthetics, who utilize the figure to convey philosophies. Perhaps beliefs is the better word. The beauty is in the mystery, the message and the method. There is a gate to the garden of the invisible, an illusion of substance, the collective as one, and a synthesis of form.
The missing face but for the smile. What more do you need? The eyes may be difficult to see clearly but we know where they belong. It is, and has always been, hints that make up the nuance of beauty. The glance. The bodice but not the body. The whisper, the gesture, the gaze. These are the essence of the transitions we make as we ride the slipstream of our universe. It is not the figure we will take with us or even leave behind; it is the memory. But reminiscence is never indivisible and rarely compliant and is as always, life on the mobius strip behind the gently moving curtain.
Heather’s art reveals a body missing, but that is an illusion, it is not missing at all. Constrained perhaps, or even shaped, almost moving, it fills the space. The corset is the anchor to a floating form as the butterfly wings release it. In present cultural climate, where does the corset fit? Is it restriction, is it passion, is it dominance or the manipulation of the same? Is it love? Is it the constellation outlining the ageless? Does it represent a lack of freedom and a bending of the will, or precisely the opposite?
Michele’s communal bodies seem to disappear and reemerge, weaving among each other in more dimensions that the rest of us access. We see them as solid forms in this physical world, but her work seems multilayered. So much seems shared. Family settings, assemblies and gatherings but rarely the single human. Her work is social at the core. With the ofttimes disappearing faces and ethereal settings you may wonder how many ages and generations each painting represents. Or, perhaps, she is sharing moments of an immense vista that only she sees.
Donovan’s figures often appear to never quite reach solidity, with the forms seemingly levitating-emerging and subsumed by the infinitely small particles around them. And around us. His figures seem in near constant movement, not so much passage as a restless repose. Do the images stop at the edges of the canvas? Where are the boundaries? Maybe the most real images of all, as we weave our way day to day, moment to moment through a universe of particles and waves and unknown forces where the massive is created from the imperceptible; the miracle is that substance is even perceived and felt at all.
My sculptures all share a history. It is the physical, emotional, cultural, societal and environmental cauldron of adversity and setback. But the outcome is far from certain, and strength of character is the foundation of their futures. The models are mothers from a distant land and a distant conflict. The backbones of the sculptures are made of hardened wood, beams and trees. The outer layer as our interface to others, is made of materials of not such a strong nature, but resilient and importantly, designed by aspiration and honed by circumstance. The string that binds is made of hope: that greatest of graces that allows us to believe in ourselves and each other. They share that with each other. And with you.