Yesterday was a fun filled day checking out the local arts scene. I began my day at the annual Hammondsport Art Show. The Keuka Lake Art Association holds its Annual Art Show every July in the village square in beautiful Hammondsport, New York in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. There were plenty of artists there and lots to look at. My second stop was at Beulahland for 61 Hours of Art. It's the best backyard art party ever in the town of Thurston, NY. Hosted by Jennifer Fais (in honor of her 61st birthday), Amelia Harnas and Noel Sylvester, one could participate in making art. I personally helped to construct a hopefully world record breaking God's Eye and used a pink bee bee gun to shoot up a bunch of aluminum cans which became part of a kinetic sound sculpture. Fun stuff and amazingly satisfying. Last stop was Elmira's Annual Street Painting Festival sponsored by Elmira Downtown Development. Artists took to the streets to create some amazing chalk art. There was live music and everyone seemed to be having a great time there. So what does any of that have to do with my frustrated sculpture thought? Well.................. All of that art viewing and activity made me anxious to get to my studio. I have quite a few shows coming up and I need to get into "crank out some art" mode.
Last night the latest frenzy began with creating some small sculptural items that will actually become subject matter in my work. The five little ladders above are the result of last night's efforts. I have been obsessed with ladder images lately and I decided to incorporate some into my work. You see, ladders are rich in symbolism and I love symbolism. Symbolically, The Ladder is a connection between the world of matter below with the domain of Spirit above. It symbolizes the spiritual stairway which enables a Seeker or Initiate to ascend to higher realms of consciousness. Climbing a ladder may symbolize progress: improving your status; achieving or moving towards a goal. The rungs on a ladder represent levels in a hierarchy, and so can symbolise levels of spiritual awareness. A ladder may indicate communication between levels, or ascension to a higher spiritual plane. Or more simply, a ladder might be used to symbolize a transition involving effort.
Of course in Scanography, the subject has to fit on the scanner bed. That means I needed to find or make some teeny-tiny ladders. Lately I've been using a lot of sticks in my images so I decided to lash some together and build some very imperfect, but nevertheless useful, little ladders. I decided to make five so that I would have a variety of sizes and positions to work with. One has some broken rungs which were not broken on purpose but may actually end up working well for one of my ideas.
So, as you can see, building the sculptural parts of my subject, has become part of my process. I think this is where my Andy Goldsworthy influences express themselves. Goldsworthy is a sculptor, photographer and environmentalist living in Scotland who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. His art involves the use of natural and found objects to create both temporary and permanent sculptures which draw out the character of their environment. While his work is very different from mine, we do have a few things in common. I am finding a great deal of pleasure in building these tiny sculptural parts for my work and I suspect this part of my process is bound to grow.
Debb VanDelinder is an artist working in Scanography (scanner photography)