Approaches to the Formal and Abstract Figure

My formal figurative work is rooted in Geometric Abstraction, which is evident in the loose Cubist approach I employ by segmenting the body into shapes to achieve the architecture of the figure.

I begin by selecting photographs by notable photographers Lee Friedlander, Edward Weston and Klaus Kempert, or online figurative poses as my source material. I look for interesting poses with limbs crossing and bodies twisting that embody power and grace and inspire a narrative. 

First, I  may create a maquette to work out the figure from a photograph to 3D. Then I segment the body and throw forms that relate to each part. The elements are then altered and joined with slip. In my early work I used contrasting black slip, exposing the joins, creating a subtle black line that appears as stitching. When I use uncolored slip to hide the joins, a more fluid result is achieved. The building technique relates to pattern making, a skill I learned as a young girl sewing. Thrown parts allow for a softness and roundness, which places the figure somewhere between abstraction and representation, my own hybrid style. I strive to stay true to the image, but there is ample opportunity to infuse my own figural interpretation. 

I enjoy abstracting the figure, as in Mother and Child, or deconstructing the figure to find something unexpected. By deconstructed, I mean approaching the figure in unconventional terms by dissecting and reframing form. Muscle Man and Girly Girl developed as I was thinking about how to express masculinity and femininity through abstracted anthropomorphic forms. Adaptation began as a reclining figurative sculpture and bloomed into a sculpture with biomorphic and anthropomorphic references. I was thinking about climate change and how organisms may need to adapt to become self sufficient. Working in this manner is driven by the need to find the unexpected in figuration.