One of the things that have always bothered me about Sculpture is the Space that I fill up by creating it. That may seem funny, but please understand that for a sculptor, Space is our ultimate muse. Crowding, darkening, weighing down Space around us is absolute torture to the creative soul.
When a sculptor makes a piece, it is not only the sculpture that we create (the positive form) but we also somehow form the Space around the sculpture. Of course Space has been here for millennia, since the beginning of time, and a sculptor doesn’t really create Space. Space is divine, eternal, maybe even God. But we enjoy playing with Her infinity by carving and forming a physical object inside of Her vastness. The (negative) Space around an object must be a carefully thought out, just as the object itself.
This is true with anything really. It the Yin and Yang, the ebb and flow, the dark and the light. Without one, the other diminishes altogether. Since a sculptor is one who creates form and volume from empty Space–a void–it makes sense that we are slave to Her, yet we give great homage to Space because without Her, we are nothing.
Not only do I create forms that fill up Space, but I also create heavy ones. Bronze by nature is a heavy and permanent material, lasting thousands of years, but unmoving, unchanging, and even sometimes burdensome and dark. Ironically, the moment bronze is cast it is dynamic and powerful. Standing next to a bronze pour feels like flying next to the Sun. It takes many people and many machines to harness the power of liquid bronze. Bronze is one of the most dynamic materials to be created by human civilization. It is not something to be taken lightly… no pun intended!
I want to make my finished bronzes as dynamic as they are in its liquid state. I don’t want to just fill up space with something heavy and burdensome. When I create a piece, I want to make sure that the Space around my sculpture welcomes it and that they compliment each other. I want my sculptures to float up and soar off the pedestal. The viewer will have an undying need to touch and walk around my sculptures. Form and Space will create music where they touch. Surrounded with the gentle embrace of Space, the sculpture will be home at last.
Empty Space is simply refreshing and enjoyable, but Space with a sculpture can become beautiful and powerful. Space will become joyous if a physical form graces her just right. With ultimate consideration of our limited Space on this Earth, I mindfully create sculptures that love the Space and Space loves the sculpture right back.
“What Art offers is Space – a certain breathing room for the spirit” – John Updike