SOLO EXHIBITION: SCULPTURE DIALOGUES #11-20
11. The Lost Children's Icon: This sculpture is inspired by and dedicated to the loss of childhood, both metaphorical & real. When I was in elementary school I often found myself staring at the blurred faces of missing children on the back of my milk carton. The printing was rough, transforming the image into Any Child or Every Child, and it was captioned with the legend HAVE YOU SEEN ME? Those half-defined faces still haunt me. In reflection, I suppose that I could have seen any or many of those faces around me and never even known it.
The true power of those milk cartons was for me the introduction of the idea of human suffering as a present social problem. Would that I could believe that each of those milk carton children was alright - carried away, perhaps from a terrible life into something kinder and better. Yet something very definitely seemed amiss and that unsettling something has remained uncomforted in my mind to this day.
12. Relic - A Celtic Crucifixion: Son upon Sun, Weal upon Wheel - Over the fifteen years that I have sculpted a wide variety of Crucifixions for my clients. Even so, the Crucifixion continues to be a highly polarized symbol for me personally. Consequently I found myself driven to craft an image of my own that did not fall so conveniently into the traditional visual expectation of what a Crucifixion is to be. Thus, I have chosen to draw upon the synergy of a twinned and entwined Christian and Celtic Son & Sun and in so doing, to integrate concepts of the ever-turning wheel of Earth's natural cycles.
13. Shatter - Ascendant Redemption: The Risen Christ is another image that I was requested to sculpt for various clients, time and time again ...and yet, the classic portrayal seemed troublingly watered down - essentially something made palatable, lacking kinetic energy. Thus, I found myself compelled to create a more personal visualization of this narrative - one of impact, wrenching and a sundering of the common-place.
The body of Christ is thrust up, breaching the stone surrounding it – generating ascending velocity. The tomb has been defied - its shackling power has been shaken and sundered. Hands are redefined into crystalline rectilinear forms - the wound in His side is transfigured into clarified geometry. Now the halo is bisected - opening to the heavens, a symbolic co-representation of the bowl of the Communion Cup. The recessed geologic fractures, define the wings of the Cross sheering away as a newly released divine body begins to stretch upward towards the heavens.
THE TRANSITIONS SEASONS SET: The complexity of the shifting season's shifting - the cusps and edges of one distinct idea completed, while simultaneously another begins - a graying of absolutes and a malleability of the concepts of beginnings and endings constantly wheeling through time ... such is the fascination upon which this human life metaphor is derived.
14. Transitions 1 - Winter/Spring - Lament
15. Transitions 2 - Spring/Summer - Toil
16. Transitions 3 - Summer/Fall - Vigilance
17. Transitions 4 - Fall/Winter - Migration
18. Cormorant and Moon Jellyfish, Yokojikkengawa: When the newness of my life in Japan really started to get to me, I found myself revived by taking walks along the waterways that zigzagged through my Koto ku community. The natural life along these rivers was surprising and beautiful. The water was quite clear, ideal for wading birds and diving ducks. In spring it filled with clouds of fingerlings and jellyfish. As I walked, day after day, I began to find myself fascinated by the motion, energy and antics of cormorants.
Not exactly graceful fliers and downright clumsy as walkers, the cormorants of my neighborhood provided me with many smiles. What really caught my interest though, was their almost magical transformation from ungainly terrestrial comedians into strikingly efficient and agile sub-surface adventurers. With a turn of the head and a swirl of water they disappeared, trailed by the bubbles of the upper world. The distances that they could cover underwater and the duration of time that they managed to remain below the surface was quite remarkable. Then with a pop and a bob they arrived back in the sunlight with a shake of their heads and quite often a silvery fish in their beaks.
The more I watched, the more I found myself relating to these birds. I, too, was rather awkward in my world. I found myself inefficient and often laughable. However, in my proper element, I felt unhindered. I shed my social limitations and shrugged off my personal liabilities. In short, I began to realize that the underwater world to the cormorant was what my studio was to me - a seemingly limitless space in which to wander, explore and seek after the beautiful shimmering wealth that lay below the surface of things.
Even now, when I see a cormorant, I smile and in smiling I like to think that perhaps they too are casting a knowing glance back at me - comrades and wanderers alike.
19. Cicada and Sunflowers: Space is such a precious thing in Tokyo. For those who love to plant, even the narrowest patches of earth could be and were nurtured into beautiful gardens. These remarkable swatches of cultivation never ceased to surprise and delight. One such nook in my neighborhood featured jostling, grand-headed sunflowers. Oh, and with what fun did the local cicadas seem to buzz and whir about the tall stalks throughout the late summer afternoons!
20. Birds in River Grass: The tall grasses that jostled my local river's bank, bustled with the activity of tiny birds. Their twitterings and songs marshaled my walks each day and their antics all but enchanted me. When approached they would burst forth into the air and ascend cloud-like, skyward. Then, once satisfied that all was well, they would return to life amongst the seeds and blades.
"Seeking Surfaces -
Then & Now
A Chronology in Low Relief"
THE DIALOGUES #11-20:
© 2017 Jeremiah D. Welsh