Why do the blisters and scars on my hands provide such a reward? How is it that my body, as well as my mind, becomes so engrossed in striving to understand the unknown? My peripheral vision seems to diminish when I carve a block of wood with a chisel or embed my hands deep in clay. The importance of heightening personal awareness, as well as the ability to engage physical materials with confidence and respect, have become of great concern. The role of the artist has ventured into that of social inquiry and has utilized the plethora of materials around us to widen the perspective of our bodies and its surroundings.
In Corporeal Calling, I will emphasize the role of craftwork as an integral cog in society’s educational and cultural workings. The visions of historical advocates for craftwork can be seen resurfacing through many contemporary artists. The influence of technology, theory, and politics since the post-industrial revolution has introduced artists who are progressively striving to explain, define, and emphasize the relationship between the body and the materials that surround us. Raising the awareness of material, environment, and creator brings about an internal and external awareness for the viewer, which can be carried far beyond the white walls of a gallery. Through the investigation of cause and effect, through the visible as well as invisible forces of nature, artists have been refining their language to express an awareness of existence in this world—beyond the spiritual or scientific—to the real.
Awarded the 2011 MFA Visual Studies Departmental Award