I don’t think my new piece for the upcoming Hillsborough Gallery of Arts show, “It’s All About The Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith”, actually qualifies as one of my art dolls. It does have a small figure incorporated, but it reads more like a narrative sculpture to me.
As you may be aware, each year during our February show at HGA, we pair up with one of the many well know authors who also make their home in Hillsborough. We create art in response to their work. This year we read Lee Smith’s collection of short stories titled, “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger.”
One story in particular, “Folk Art”, seemed custom written for my work. In this story a young art professor is visiting a woman who creates concrete sculptures of the people in her life, and installs them in her backyard garden. I didn’t want to be overly literal and fashion my figure in the same manner, so I decided to do a variation on both using concrete and my figure sculptures that are art dolls.
What I settled on was a sculpture that includes a small figure, and is fashioned out fabric maché. The piece does relate to someone specific, but the choice of the child swinging was intentional because of its universality. Unlike the self taught artist in the story, I wanted my figure to speak to everyone rather than just highlight character traits or interests of my specific subject.
The piece is fabric and trim over the wire and wood frame that I shared as a work in progress in my last post. Now, it is time to get back to work on some art dolls for my next featured artist show. I will be sure to share some images of more of the work in “It’s All About The Story, Volume 3: Lee Smith” when the show is installed in a few weeks, and alert you when Ms. Smith will join us in the gallery for a reading.