I consider TO DREAM WITHOUT . an abstract spiritual composition combining many concepts from science, existence, anatomy, nature, jazz theory and improvisation. The piece is based on a poem that I wrote with the empty space after WITHOUT purposely left blank because I plan on finishing the title at a later significant point in my life.
While I enjoy working in all styles of art, I really love the challenges and freedom of abstract works. I think from an outsider's perspective abstract can be random and without thought. Not until I started working with abstract concepts did I realize the challenges of composing works that make sense. Abstract can very technical and involve much more thought and planning than works with recognizable subject matter.
I feel it is an artist's responsibility to challenge their craft. I will always credit my jazz education for developing me as a sculptor. I was lucky to have brilliant teachers as well as exposure to musicians who took their foundation and pushed the limits. One in particular being John Coltrane. His dedication to creating unique musical architecture mixed with deep spirituality has always inspired me and motivated me to follow suit.
creating the piece :
The piece is divided into three sections : the infinite pulse (spiral section), the tabernacle containing the trinity and the soul (afterlife)
The design includes the first 8 numbers in the Fibonacci sequence
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,
0 = infinity
1 = entire composition
1 = work contained inside the decorative purple border
2 = is represented in the branching off of the life pulse that leads into the symbol for PI at the top, there are also two scrolls hidden under the tabernacle visible up close
3 = is represented by the three sections in life pulse/ dwelling place containing trinity/ soul
5 = rings surrounding the eye of the afterlife and 5 fluttering wings of soul
8 = 8 small descending steps descending into infinity
13 = rings in spiral
The spiral was the most challenging part of the work, primarily because the spiral goes across the grain. Typically in woodwork/carving you want the work to run with the grain providing the most strength. In this case I did not have that option so I walked a fine line between making the piece as strong as possible while still being as delicate and realistic as possible. Any cracks on the spiral would mean I would have throw the entire work out no matter how much time was invested.
The spiral was sketched onto the wood without any layout or measurement tools. In these types of situations I like to rely on my eye and feel, it adds to a more organic quality to the work. The spiral is as 3D as possible with very few connection points to provide it from breaking.
I also used an organic approach to the layout for the hexagon tubes in the bottom right. In nature hexagons typically provide the strongest support systems while consuming the least amount of material ie beehive construction. Meant to mimic an anatomical cross section the hexagons were carved to shimmer and reflect like a diamond as well as draw the viewer upwards into the spiral. One advantage to carving outdoors is using natural light to really gauge the shadows that were being created as well as creating as clean of a piece as possible. Shadows are important to my work, not only giving a piece depth but I also love how the shadows change as you walk around the piece.
The final part to this puzzle was creating the tabernacle and soul in the upper left side. The tabernacle contains the trinity in this work. A protected place of dwelling. I created three joined spheres inside the tabernacle space to represent trinity. I created a hole small enough in the tabernacle to let the trinity be visible but only partially.
The soul/afterlife is represented in the top left as the glowing eye of the form flutters above the tabernacle. The lower half encased in seeds to continue the life cycle. Creating soul form took me back to childhood arts and crafts.
Although I have created more delicate and fragile works since then including my latest, Apollo Mirror
( http://www.bpkwoodwork.com/blog/apollo-mirror ) which tested the limits of wood sculpture by hand I will always look at this work as truly showing me there is no limit to the possibilities of creation.