I am inspired by ancient artwork on cave walls, children’s art and random markings on concrete sidewalks, roads and buildings. I find the immediacy, confidence and lack of pretense in their character very appealing. I emulate this chaotic beauty in the surfaces of my own work with a description I call ‘visual noise’. Scribbles, gestural markings and accidentals mirror our hectic, image laden society and provide the spark of inspiration for me. I often use bird, fish and animal motifs in my work because they represent the pure, the innocent and the spiritual.
So it’s not surprising that Christopher, along with his wife Oresta and young daughter Kalyna, would have journeyed to India. While there, Christopher trekked away from the urban noise and commotion to the town of Kunhimangalam, where he spontaneously studied with the Thekee Veetil family who ran a bronze foundry called Paravathi Metals.
The trip was an adventure and a wonderful way to experience another culture. I worked side by side with the five brothers who ran the foundry and earned their respect by getting my hands dirty. Only one brother spoke english and there was a major hurdle trying to explain my aesthetics and what kind of sculpture I was interested in. They have worked for generations making beautiful but traditional objects for temples and households and couldn’t understand my crude, child-like creations. There was a bit of a breakthrough when I dug a shallow picture of a canoe into the packed earth. The magic of watching molten bronze flow into the depression was fascinating even for them.
This weekend Christopher is holding an open studio to showcase his newest works from this incredible journey. Here’s a sneak peak of some of his works.