Why not explore symmetry?

Last week in our critical discussion group, one of the members made the observation that the two pieces I had presented were all asymmetrical. I hadn’t even considered working in a symmetrical fashion so I thought it would be a good exercise to explore.

I began two pieces, one 12″ x 12″ the other 22″ x 22″. Both were works in progress that had stalled, so I decided just to work over the top.

The first I wanted to incorporate the use of a circle and wire and to read as an old symbol. I had been thinking a lot about the stone work in Florence and I admit, I’ve always had a fascination for  gravestones. I can see that this piece was definitely inspired by those influences. This piece was built up using burlap, acrylic house paint, stained tissue paper, cardboard, wire and dress trimming. It was created with layering all the materials and using a sort of  patching compound. Subsequent layers of paint and tissue helped to create the stone-like effect and I named it “Wedding Day.”

The next piece I worked on (22″x22″) had begun during this years California fire season. Every year the fires are getting bigger and more dangerous and my heart breaks to see the damage humankind is doing to the planet. I wanted to suggest the frenzied feeling of the fire but at the same time offer a feeling of hope and possibilities for the future.

Here are the two completed works:

Upon the completion of these pieces I found it so interesting to engage in a symmetrical approach. I was successful with these pieces but I have to say they are not completely symmetrical. They began in a place of symmetry and then found their way. It’s a part of a practice I am trying to nourish and plays with the idea of beginning with order, move into chaos and then return to order.

I can honestly say I am quite please with this work that is showing up for me. It feels authentic and expresses things I find difficult to say with word. Once again, I’m so supportive of the knowledge and discussion my colleagues offer in Cheryl Taves and Bill Porteus Critical Discussion Group: Abstraction

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