In the studio, the work of the mind and that of the hand coalesce under the particular inherence of matter. One cannot trust one’s own mind to be always truthful, nor the hand and eye to resist pretension, but the third element, matter, is never compromised, never without its integrity. It is, unlike the virtual, never without its virtue.
Clay, wax, molten metal – to work toward any concept in such media is to be tripped up on the first step of the journey by the pre-existent inherence of the lump of matter in hand. The traditional sculptor’s attitude toward this challenge occurs somewhere within a continuum, framed on the one side by a will to absolute technical mastery tending toward ever more exultant variations of realism, and on the other by a more recent opposing orthodoxy in which truth-to-materials is all.
Surface tension is a molecular economy of particles tending toward an inherent order – an ideal form. What is surprising about this is that it is a physical property of inert matter that looks, for all the world, like some kind of microcosmic aesthetic preference. I read meaning into my vocation by way of having my hand guided, my eye illumined and my mind changed under this presiding influence of matter.
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