When forms are twisted and turned they take on attitude and become animated. I was’t thinking of old ladies or even of figures when I started these pieces, but they gradually took on personalities. It is’t just the forms, the colors too became like cloaks or some other kind of outfit that in effect dressed the forms. And finally, the little black flames coming out the tops felt like a release of gasses, or the heads of chickens maybe. But it is really the edges that are telling the stories here. An edge is not really the same as a contour line. Edges come and go, they fade in and out. Like in a watercolor painting, these are wet edges, sometimes soft and sometimes hard. When a good overhead light is shined on the forms, the real dynamic of color and light is played out. Light washes across their faces. To me, this is painting, it is painting with light and there is nothing that is more exciting to see. I cannot but help to see humor in this work. Seeing them together, feels like a kind of gossip corner with a bunch of old hens clucking and preening.
The materials I used are Lychee wood taken from fallen trees in my back yard and cashew lacquer brought in from Korea. Most of the shaping is done with an electric chain saw and I also burn the wood deeply using a propane torch. The burning kills any bugs hiding and tempers or hardens the wood making it more durable. Cashew lacquer is largely unavailable here but is in common usage in Asia. I like it because it hardens like resin and can be sanded and polished.
These pieces have been juried into the Hawaii Craftsmen annual statewide exhibition taking place in the main gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art School 1111 Victoria st. The show is opening Tuesday October 24 between 6:30 and 8:30pm and will be on display until November 10.
Please come and visit the show.