Microcosm : Attraction and Repulsion
Smith, Christina M.
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A mold, by nature, does not make objects that are unique or original. A cast form is a shadow of the original model, a copy of a copy. The casts that come out of my molds cannot stand alone; to me, they are inherently ugly and uninteresting. The point of creating a mold is to cast multiples and use them as parts to a larger whole. The build up of these multiples is important in that it is what makes the sculptures beautiful. In all of these pieces, there is both repetition and certain sense of obsession; there is an ordered chaos that may be achieved only through replication and expansion. Cast wax takes well to texture, yet also has the innate ability to be smooth, luscious, and have a certain flesh-like quality. In using wax, I wanted to explore the material for what it is and what it has the potential to be. In Nest and Nourish Relief the smooth interior of the cast is what is shown, where my hands have played no part. In The Fruit of the Underworld, the capacity of the wax to take texture has been pushed to its limit. The color of the wax unifies the pieces, but it is dead, decaying, and hideous. At the same time, the pieces have a warmth and glow to them, achieved only through the use of this specific color. All of the pieces in this show are intended to create environments to look into and investigate. The individual parts of each sculpture interact to generate an ominous yet approachable world of their own. The goal of this body of work is to explore the idea of beauty in these little worlds my sculptures create. To me, beauty is all encompassing; it is both attractive and repulsive, a push and a pull. These forms take on beauty and even playfulness in the build up, yet the build up—the sculptures themselves—are grotesque and haunting. This work is largely about contradictions; how impossible it is to define an idea such as beauty without its opposite, and how perhaps they become the same.