Metal Artwork, Set in Stone
I have new work to share with you this week, and a story to go with. Recently I went to a networking event where I had the pleasure of meeting the woman who runs the local branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. A lovely woman, and of course a worthy organization, I agreed to create a piece to be donated at their annual event. I wanted to create something inspired by their mission, yet still able to stand alone as a piece of artwork — and in some way remain representative of my work.
This is a very tricky thing.
Breast cancer is an ugly, ugly disease. If you are lucky enough to not have been touched by it personally, I do not recommend just looking it up on the internet — I can assure you what you find would NOT inspire you. See, I’ve only known breast cancer from a distance. Acquaintances, but never friends. Relatives when I was too young to be aware. A woman I know only online.
But through all of these people, even at a distance, two things stood out — strength and beauty. Though I’m sure they may have felt it, I never saw them as “sick”. They looked vulnerable, yes. But full of authenticity and integrity and beauty. When the woman online bravely took off her hat and faced the camera with her newly bald head, she was gorgeous. Striking, and strong, and otherworldly. In a world where women’s beauty is typically couched in as much saccharine and plastic as kid’s cereal, she was stunning.
After much deliberating, I created this sketch of the Venus de Milo. I’m still not sure if the imagery is completely appropriate. Should I be presenting a bare-breasted symbol of Greek perfection to a crowd who has intimately known this devestating disease?? I don’t know. But here is a form considered beautiful by generations, yet distinctly broken. But I don’t know anyone who looks at this statue and sees a damaged woman. All they see is strength and beauty.
……………marking the plate…………
………..cut & etched……..
The piece is still in process, conceptually and technically. Like any work in progress, there is uncertainty — is the design right, are the cuts precise, do the colors read correctly. And here there is the added question of meaning — what is conveyed, and is it the right message to be conveying? Perhaps that uncertainty is an important part of the equation.
Until next week……………………..