This environment

ZIMBABWE HOPE – professional photograph by Joe Painter

We don’t just need visual cues to appreciate sculpture. We involve our sense of touch, even imagined touch. We get an awareness of how our hands might fit, what our palms might feel, or any part of our skin, on any part of ourselves.

Then there is our bodies’ imagination. The sense that kicks in when we move or imagine moving, or empathize with the posture or gravitational situation of someone or something we see.  In addition, we also get strong cues from the sense of being in a space:  the sense we have of relating to a ceiling or a sky, a wide or narrow door, or curved walls and plump cushions versus ruler straight edges and flat planes.

Museums and Fine Arts academies and galleries have generally not wanted to influence the art they are displaying with anything but clean, rigid surfaces and lines. And usually no one is allowed to touch. Outdoors, we usually can – I used to climb all over statues in Central Park NYC when I was little – plus, we get the wonder of nature all around.  And sometimes nature is part of the work itself, and so we become part of the work too as we “view” it.

And here we are on the internet –

No wind, nothing tactile – in bloodless, body-less space. If we can even call it space. But it is a little like the traditional way of professionally photographing sculpture. You see the sculpture as the only thing its world and it is the most true view from which to judge its quality.

That said, I plan to experiment a little on this site. Besides posting traditional views of my work, I want to try create some experience or reminder of the physical environment our bodies usually inhabit here.  On this page I added some natural forms and textures, to give a little respite or contrast from the “head-y” world of just art.

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