This body of work is different. I gave myself a different challenge at the outset. I wanted to begin with parameters, and create some formal arrangements based on these parameters. My suspicion was that the emotional content would reveal itself in the process, because I work with human figures and features, this seemed very likely. I set out to make highly distilled, technically challenging, formally successful sculpture.
It may seem odd but I wanted to make the work meaningful while doing less. In the past I have found myself agonizing over every element I would include in a sculpture, forcing and belaboring the details. This time I wanted to interfere less with the message. I wanted to see if I could still imply human flesh, muscle and skin by touching the clay fewer times.
My parameters were physical as well a theoretical: anatomically correct heads and hands, but also line, shape, rhythm, negative space, balance. The repletion of brackets and ropes, the variation in line quality between the nets and the rope, the difference in visual and actual weight between heads and net are all issues that interest me. How can a sculpture occupy space by implying a body?
Then of course the content emerges. It is a fun challenge for me to try to make emotions and ideas visible. How do you take something that is intangible, like a feeling, and make it a physical object that you can hold in your hand? In making Duende I found myself thinking about irrational emotions and longing, the things you feel whether you want to or not. This piece is about the beautiful agony of a desire that defies intellect and logic. Is it brutal and painful? Yes, but metaphorically so. Some of the heads are suffering more acutely than others, some are merely observing themselves in this situation. It is a metaphor for a kind of love. This figure is hooked, she is on the hook for her feelings both by her own doing and in spite of her logic and intellect denying those same feelings. This piece is an attempt to exorcise these feelings as well as to utilize them constructively.