For twenty-five years the rhythms, textures, and lines of the high southwest desert have had a strong influence on my work. In the dry environment of New Mexico, where I live, the work of nature is easily accessible: vast skies are broken yearly by torrential downpours that shape the very rock of the mountains. In my annual backpacking trips into the canyons of southeastern Utah, especially, I've observed magnificent rock formations, water features, patterns in dried mud, Indian ruins and traces of modern man that have shaped the content of my sculpture.
I use a variety of materials and processes often in unconventional ways to create my work, as a means of expressing the intensity of the forces that shape the natural environment. Standing on the edge of a canyon that you're about to drop into and explore generates a feeling that is difficult to portray or compose. Your panoramic view of sky and horizon is soon replaced by the intimate twists and turns of individual tributaries that make up the larger drainage you've became a part of. In this environment you become acutely aware of the elemental forces that are constantly at work.
In recent fabricated metal works I've used cast glass to create greater emphasis on the spaces between the sculptural elements. The translucency of the glass emphasizes the light, space and breath between the denser metal volumes: like the sky emphasizes and defines the patterns of the earth, and like the pauses between words or phrases influence the meaning of what's being said. The gesture, tension, rhythms and playfulness between form and emptiness create an expressive dialogue within the composition as a whole.
CRAIGHEAD GREEN GALLERY
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