Earlier this year I cast a series of small figures in resin and plaster mounted on a variety of concrete bases. It began as an idea for a drawing. I often find myself thinking I should do more drawing. Not just sketching or doodling, which I do often, but something more deliberate and determined. I had been reading articles and social media posts about racial discrimination and this countries woeful unwillingness to reconcile with its barbaric colonial past. I imagined a white figure on black ground, “Where do you stand?”
But the longer I thought about it, the more appealing a sculpture became. There are times I love making slow pen and ink drawings. The repetitive mark making becomes meditative and relaxing. But the beginnings can feel a lot like hard work, in a way that sculptures seem not too. A personal quirk no doubt.
Once the figure was modeled I began planning a mounting for it and it occurred to me that it’s contemplative pose could do more than ask a singular question. Changing the base changed the context. The question it posed was altered and interpretation became open. Though a question is implied, it’s no longer a fixed description of my own feelings, rather, the viewer is invited to find their own meaning.
My mould making is getting better, but this one still isn’t good. The first cast was successful but many subsequent casts failed, at least partially. Still, that’s yet another opportunity for a change in context.