Recently I created work for Union College, NY on a joint project with several professors. They excavated clay credited to be over 10,000 years old, and requested I create ceramic works that represented work produced in New York during that glacial period. I created four pieces of work. One piece was a sculpture representing the Venus Figurine from Dolni Vestonice, now the Czech Republic, which actually dated 27,000 years ago, produced in the first discovered kiln site known to humankind. I chose to start with this ceremonial piece as it represented artwork that could have been made in any prehistoric society. I then produced two small pinch pots, the first kind of bowls made by human hands, and then one coil pot, representing pottery that was made for storing foodstuffs and later on, cooking. Along with the artwork, I contributed historical documentation referring to these pieces of clay. The exhibit is on permanent display on the third floor of the Olin Building, Union College, Union Street, Schenectady, NY, 12308-3107. I hope you get to see the exhibit.
PERMANENT ARCHEOLOGY EXHIBIT
UNION COLLEGE, SCHNECTADY, NY
FULL DAY, 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
FINDING MY VOICE
For 46 years, I was a potter and sculptor, enjoying a consummate relationship with clay. In 2018 I had a horrific back incident that took a month to recover, this was short, compared to a previous one in 2016 that took four months to heal. I have had back problems since I was 25 years old. I finally succumbed to the inevitable; I decided to retire from functional pottery making and selling; but could never retire from being an artist. I had planned for this day for five years, and I began working in a new medium- painting as well as continuing in ceramic sculpture. I realized that my paintings would reflect the sculptural identity I have pursued for these 46 years, so I began exploring “shaped canvas” painting. I am continuing working with wall sculptures as well as 3D figures; my clay sculptures have metallic patinas. As my canvas paintings really are developing with a shaped canvas form on top of the flat canvas, utilizing my sculptural sensitivities along with acrylic color. I found that I can play with color in a new way that I could not with glaze. Although I am constantly learning about the possibilities of these new techniques, I had one thing conquered-I had my Voice.
Your voice is the element that makes your work your own. It is your essence, your means of expression; some call it the soul of your work. For me, my voice is the joining of my eyes with my heart through my hands. I found my voice when I was in my thirties, and from then on I spent my life sharing my voice with others through many avenues-sculpture, pottery, writing and teaching. All these parts of me communicated my voice- how I saw life, nature, humanity and art.
Once you find your voice, it flows from your inner being, traversing the years. Content changes with life’s journey, but context, or, the structure that embraces your true self, endures.