In my sculpture, I use natural materials to create symbolic images from mythology, fairy tales, dreams, and religious traditions. My work aims to do things. First, to encourage a personal experience of mystery by connecting nature, spirit, imagination, and art. Second, through this experience, to open new revelations of meaning.
According to depth psychologist, C.G. Jung, symbols only remain alive when open to new layers of meaning. When a common symbolic image—such as the wedding cake in my sculpture Hieros Gamos—is rendered in natural materials such as wood, moss, lichen, and stone—the viewer is startled with new possibilities of meaning. Incantare is Italian for enchanted. My hope is that the viewer will be enchanted by the work and discovery rich new layers of meaning.
This body of work began six years ago in the forest when I picked up a mossy stick. I waved it in the air like a magic wand all the way home. That stick became Eve, the prototype for my work.
Marc Chagall with his metaphoric and poetic cocktail of symbols, storytelling, and the unconscious.
The German Romantic Poets—Holderlein, Novalis, Heine, Goethe, Rilke.
The art and poetry of William Blake
Sufi Mystic Poets—Hafiz, Kabir, Rumi, Sanai, Attar.
The Depth Psychology of C.G. Jung,Marie Louise von Franz, and Erich Neumann.
Fantasy Literature. I’ve published six fantasy novels for children and won The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature (given yearly to a book written in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis).
An Incantare Sculpture can begin in two ways. First, from a piece of wood that suggests an image or gesture. Second, from a symbolic image. In that case, after sketching the image, I search my collection for a corresponding piece of wood. I peel or carve the bark, and then sand it. I usually prepare the wood with many coats of lacquer or varnish. If using a rock base from my collection, I drill a hole in the rock. The wood and rock are screwed and glued together. This completes the sculpture form.
Next, referring to my original sketch, I apply the natural materials. There follows an ongoing dialogue between the inspiration for the piece and what the materials suggest. This is especially true of the moss which lends itself to movement, rhythm, and flourish. Through experimentation, I’ve developed tools and techniques for preserving and working with the delicate natural materials.
Finally, to protect and display the delicate sculptures, I encase them in glass domes or acrylic boxes. Each lathe turned base is custom designed and finished to enhance the sculpture.
Photo Retouching by Jessie Ringlien firstname.lastname@example.org