The past several years have been a transitional period in my life, in which I’ve struggled with my identity and worldview. It began when, after feeling burnt out and disillusioned, I quit a stable Civil Engineering career to drift across the country and live out of a 1989 Subaru with my two dogs. Fast-forward to the present day; I have completed a BFA and MFA in Ceramics and found goals worth working towards. However, the transition from engineer to artist and from cynic to optimist will never be complete. This work represents my pursuit to reconcile various dichotomies of self through an exploration of contrasting processes and materials.
The most direct reference in this work is the relationship between Japanese Suiseki and Daiza. Similar to the art of Bonzai, Suiseki stones invite a contemplative perspective shift in which cracks and bumps become carved canyons and mountains. Many Suiseki are presented on Daiza wooden bases, crafted to fit their stones perfectly. As I digitally trace my own found objects I imagine a woodworker expertly carving a Daiza to match contours formed a million years ago.
This relationship between human control and natural force is both comforting and humbling. On the computer it is satisfying to zoom in and create an outline with thousands of mathematically absolute points, knowing the CNC equipment will follow these vectors exactly. But these cross-sections capture only one dimension of their objects’ actual depth and complexity. This reflects the limits of logic and the need to balance analysis with intuition.
I can’t pretend that attaching powder-coated aluminum plates to sticks and rusty metal has brought me Zen Enlightenment. Too often I become overwhelmed and discouraged with the complexity of the world. But with this work I hope to create symbols for a New Sincerity, one that acknowledges our minimal understanding and control of the world while believing it can still be improved upon.