An Artist’s Evolution
I’ve been asked to make a presentation about my work to an art group in western Connecticut next November. The subject to be addressed is – an artist’s evolution; how I came to be in the field I’m in, as well as what my work is now.
My stock answer to the question of how I came to be in the field of dry stone construction is that it was the only occupation left after trying, and not particularly liking, all the other building trades. It’s not a wholly inaccurate description of the path that led me to the craft, but it doesn’t fully explain why I’ve stuck with it all these years.
There are easier and more lucrative occupations. Grubbing stones out of the earth, lifting and setting them on a wall takes its toll, physically. And while there is a decent living to be made at walling, no one’s ever gotten rich at it.
The fact is, no job is really work unless you’d rather be doing something else. My art is a response to the call I get from the land to go outside and play. I gather up loose stones and tie them together with gravity and friction. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.
Artists explore their medium to discover how much more they don’t yet know. Fresh questions and curiosities arise each time I make something new out of dry stone. There’s seemingly no end to my lack of knowledge.
My work today is conflict resolution; trying to find compatibility in differences. While attempting to bring order to the chaos in a pile of loose stone, I’m also developing the contrasts that bring texture to a piece; light verses shadow, rough against smooth. Solidity and fluidity live side by side in my work. When I’m successful in my quest, a structure stands alone and invites company at the same time.