Reflections; On Space, and it’s influence on my development during this past year

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‘Clandestine’

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The Transmutation Circle’

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‘The Coop’

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‘The Cold Sun’

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‘The Enso’

 

 

I’ve already discussed the connections between my Cocoons from last year and the connections it held with the Embrace Sculptures I created last term in this post; (https://ethangrantdodd.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/evolution-of-my-artwork-cocoons-to-an-embrace/)
But I have also noticed the development of the ‘space motif’ into further works this term. There seems to be an ongoing expression within my artwork, I utilise it therapeutically to channel my inner thoughts and struggles into a corporeal form, allowing me to effectively deal with, and reflect upon, these matters. The most common of these issues is that in which I struggle with the everyday life, not to the point of say, someone with autism of is somewhere on that spectrum, but in my own unique brand of social malformation. I often like to be alone, and this somewhere is often a place I designate as my own spiritual space; in which I am protected and can successfully meditate on the life at that moment in time. I first encountered this issue when young, often creating dens and residing within them as a form of withdrawal from outside forces that were out of my control; the act of maturity, unseen circumstances and the issue of life not going my own way. I slowly but surely came to terms with this aspect of my own person with my project last year, focusing on my cocoons as a symbol of the space I so vehemently protected myself within, and the symbolic ‘breaking’ of this construct I created for myself. It was incredibly important to me to make such a project, as it effectively ‘knocked some sense into me’, maturing me from the youth that I so incessantly clung to, and has completely influenced all work subsequently.

This year, the motif of space returned stronger than ever. My first project of time began to focus on specific spaces within time where the flow of time is seemingly skewed; through an embrace, through the connections of sentience between primitive man and modern man, and finally, through the grieving process. The Alchemy that I began to practice became a big part of my mourning over the loss of my grandmother, within the circle that I crafted my experiments; I felt safe, and secure, and my mourning process was something that I, alone, could ruminate upon. This aspect of circles, of cycles, seems to be an everlasting concept in my current working process; the line continues, never stopping, never ceasing, and likewise my life continues through these events that only serve to slow down my life.

The circle, is much like the womb that I tried to recreate during my cocoon project, it is an ongoing motif of a den, or space, in which I can reside and evolve spiritually. I myself am not a believer, but I develop myself spiritually through a process of enlightenment and meditation; thought is all that is needed for me to develop, and my fascinations with spiritual spaces only seems to confirm this. My latest project began with an interest in unseen spaces; Gestalts, and their effect on our perceptions of an area. My interest in spaces came full circle once more, focusing instead on spaces crafted from the remnants of humans, rather than the remnants of earth (the cocoons were crafted from porcelain, a mineral taken from the ground). There was an aspect of the materiality of the crates and objects I found and utilised that really entranced me; the aspect of removing their original functions and objectifying them to the point of symbolism was not something I discovered, but something that seemed inherently there, within me. The spaces, especially the cage I crafted, were experiments in emotional sculpture; something that I have been trying to develop for a good while now, they are sculptures which evoke a certain emotion in the viewer, or are intended to evoke some form of either a positive or negative emotion, the differing types dependant solely on the person viewing it.

The Enso, although not planned, seem to fit into this ‘story’ of development like a key into a lock. They are not angular, like the man-made objects I began to study and reuse for my own means, but instead hold an aesthetically pleasing ‘circular’ shape when arranged into the piece. The stones are not perfect circles, but their edges are rounded from their time spent migrating through the waters; they have been softened through their journey, until they have ended up in my possession. Again, the circles reference my interest in the womb, the circular shape resembling an egg in the ovary; a place of solitude and warmth, where one can develop within protected solitude, much like the beach of Penarth during this time of my life.

I believe that this motif will not go away, but will influence my works for the rest of my days on this earth. I can only hope that I can still find further spaces to fuel my development and growth.

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