Senior Art Exhibit 2008 - Kelly Spalding Voyles
I am naturally drawn toward that which is lost, broken, discarded... It is the seemingly dark qualities of these things that captivate me; it is the life I see through the decay. Contained within the damaged and worn contours is a raw truth. It is here where redemption may be discovered. When working with found materials, whether man-made objects or those created by the natural artistry of the earth, I choose not to alter them in any exaggerated manner. My intention is to enhance the beauty inherent in the various materials that I assemble to create sculpture. Initially, one may sense hopelessness or even death in the harshly exposed forms. As an overdependence on the emotional life is stripped away, the essential truth of the human spirit is revealed.
The concept of Grace Unfolding reflects the writings of Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic, Saint John of the Cross. In his treatise, Dark Night of the Soul, Saint John praises darkness as it falls upon the human soul. Redemption may not be obtained until the soul suffers this "night". The darkness must be experienced as a severe test of one's faith. This leads to a deeper understanding and union with the Divine. The trio of figures in my work ascend from a grounding solitude, through purgatory, to a redemptive flight. The passage through the darkness begins with the splintered, rooted legs of the first figure which is weighed down by a metal torso, exposed and torn open. The second figure is uplifted as the materials become lighter, as it gains strength to press onward through the valley of darkness. Finally, the third figure is delivered from the darkness in a redemptive flight.
As grace unfolds in the journey from death to life, one must bear moments of great solitude. The Divine brings us into a hush, a stillness, in which the soul is delivered. The darkness is then transformed into the shadow of the Divine's guiding and protective wings.
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