By This Means
In By This Means, I take a reflective look at the tools and forms I used to construct while building. Hammers, ladders, squares, walls, windows, roofs, the original elements of my work, are placed in new contexts. In making prints, paintings and sculptural forms, I show these elements with differences of purpose and perspective. The repetition echoes their use throughout the days of my work. These paintings and sculptures demonstrate how my art work has been formed from the elements that are so etched into my brain from working with structural details while building.
By This Means, takes us inside how things work, and how they are made.
How do objects get made? Who decides what gets made? How are these decisions arrived at? Who does the work? How is it done and why is it done the way it is? How is value determined? I can’t answer these questions for everyone, but I can talk about my objects and my decisions.
Being a carpenter for 25 years can mean many things. In my case, I worked with individual home owners building houses that they were often working on alongside me. I operated in an intimate scale, creating shelter, a home. The day to day work made me aware of the rudimentary need we all have for a physical place to protect us and the psychological appetite we have for shelter, abode, refuge and sanctuary. One unexpected consequence of building was the way in which this work influenced my art practice.
Beginning in the material domain of carpentry I appropriate materials and images and scale the rungs to abstraction, exploring outside the traditional use of imagery. By This Means takes the Means, breaks them into components and shows the transformation into a new entity. The Means referred to are the tools, materials and actions that were a daily part of my life. I came to see framework and grid as a vehicle to convey information.
Our minds are occupied with signs, marks, language, and measurements that we use to relate and communicate. My use of repeating shapes placed in grids become signs and the work repeats, reforms, and repeats. The repetition and built in redundancy in the pieces echo the repetitious acts of building walls and framing roofs.
These pieces appear simple and reduced at first glance. The sequence of steps and repetition force multiple viewpoints and add elements of distance and time. Lines and placement of images allow and encourage the eye to roam in contradiction of the grid’s control. The viewer is compelled to observe the pieces in a random manner so that the unity of the piece only unfolds over time. Irregularities show the sign of the human making the work and become more visible as the eye moves along the axis of the grids placed in the pieces. The variation builds with more suggestions than first seen.
By This Means is an exposition of how space, components, grids and the human desire to transform everyday materials, assemble together to make something new.