The author Robertson Davies said that it's a western misconception that art comes from the heart. True art, as many cultures know, comes from the gut: The gut as the seat of the soul. I have contemplated this idea for the last several years. If many cultures believe that the soul emanates from the gut, then surely the head feeds into the soul, providing influence through ingestion of the external. By the same token, as a sculptor, I know that this exchange between soul and environment also exists in the hands, with influence traveling inward and outward. The figure as a vessel, empty or filled, temporal or permanent, giving or taking through these points of influence; head, hands, gut and soul are the basis of the proposed installation.
The installation, titled “Points of Influence”, will consist of 10 to 15 white concrete columns relating to the human figure. Each column will contain the negative imprint or impression of a figure. The size of the columns will vary according to the unique life-size figurative impression contained in the piece. (Approximately 60 to 80 inches in height, 16 to 28 inches wide and 12 to 24 inches deep.) While the impression of the figure will be open on one side of the column, funnel-like holes will pass through the other side linking the interior figure to the exterior at specific points. The surface of the concrete will be honed smooth, exposing the aggregate to resemble a white terrazzo marble.
The pieces will be placed to allow the viewer to walk freely among the separate elements and confront the negative impressions of the figures with their own body. In this setting, the viewer is challenged to explore his or her own issues surrounding the piece.
This piece was originally conceptualized in 2007 at an invitation from the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park to create a sculpture specifically for the park. The piece was realized in 2014 and was exhibited at the Oak Park Sculpture Walk in 2014, The McCormick Gallery in 2014 and the Lincoln Park Zoo in 2015 before being installed at it's intended home in Skokie, Illinois in 2016.
See more images of this piece under sculptures-installations/points-influence