Sunday, January 03, 2016

Recent look at Older Work

I used to wonder how / why so many artists with a long practice ended up with 'Sculpture Gardens'...
The truth is that any new work has a very limited 'display time'. If you haul them to shows / exhibits, they most always get damaged, even if it is only the paint getting scratched. The larger and more complex the piece, the more mere loading and traveling will impact on the object.
The other factor is that the public wants to see 'What's New?'. Repeated showing of even the best work leads people to believe that you have stagnated. My own practice is never to show the same object two years in a row.
Storage can lead to its own problem. I will attempt to 'rotate' works, packing them away for two or three years before exhibiting them again. Face it, anyone's storage space is limited. I face the additional problem that many objects are large, hard to fit into exisiting spaces. The workshop is a dirty place, and simple storage can also end up requiring objects be at least re-painted.
 And there are of course objects that you may think are good, but for a large combination of reasons, never attract the attention (or the buyer!) the artist hopes for.

Put all together - you end up giving up on exhibiting a lot of work produced over years of effort. Rather than hiding or destroying, eventually your home ends up with surprises spotted around.

"Copper Rushes - 2004"

"Copper Rushes" - December 2015

'Copper Rushes' was one of larger pond mounted fountains I had created in the earlier 2000+ period. The piece stands over 5 feet tall, and was very difficult to pack for transport to shows. Eventually I removed the pump and installed it as a free standing sculpture in the shallow end of the pond here at Wareham. Ice over the years has largely collapsed and damaged the copper 'leaves' at the base. The forged rushes still stand proud above the water surface.

'Stone Forest' - 2013
'Stone Forest' represents a slightly different problem. Sometimes you get too much work in storage, you forget what you have! This piece *should* have been exhibited at SummerFolk in 2015, when my overall theme was 'Earth'. I honestly just forgot I still had it, and came across the stone components when I was finishing up the construction and re-organization this Fall.
This is another tall piece (individual uprights from 4 to over 5 feet tall). In this case it does all come apart, allowing for easy transport. As I don't suspect I will have a suitable venue to display it in the near future, I have just mounted at the front edge of the workshop for now.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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