A few months back the Sask Craft Council presented a touring exhibition from the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the show was a piece by Reed Weir that completely captivated me each and every time I was at work. There is a certain manner in which Reed captured the essence of humanity in the figure that sat high up top the sculpture that was both beautiful yet which made me feel a bit uneasy. It was a very poetic piece. The sort of work you should really see in person, but that's so often hard to do. Reed has sent me a great artist statement to go with these images, so I'll let Reed's words and images speak for themselves.
"One of my main motivations is the desire to understand and document rural society and its position in present-day culture. I draw extensively upon images from my own garden and the rural area in which I live (southwestern Newfoundland). My intention is to create contemporary works of art that speak to our common human experience, but via stories that are informed by a rural perspective.
“Blind Love” is from a series of stoneware sculptures which can be viewed simply for what they are - a girl and a bear - or as metaphors, with the girl representing humankind and the bear the natural environment. The complicated relationship between the two species is reflected in our reverence, love and fear of the bear, and in the rich cultural imagery provoked by our relationship with it. In “Blind love” the human is arrested in a pose of innocence at the precise moment before awareness of her beloved’s pending demise.
Grass Widow: Pale Blue Resignation is from a series based on the woman in my community who maintain their homes and family while the men are away working. Each widow sculpture (of 10 created) has a different attitude or is in a different stage of the wait. An integral part of the sculpture is the pedestal on which the figure sits, denoting the woman’s important role as pillars of their society. The open space in the pillar suggests the presence the absence of their partners has in their lives.
The actual process of sculpting is another source of inspiration for me as my method from concept to completion is done with clay. The material and process often direct the development of subsequent pieces."
Check out more of Reed's work at the Craft Council of NL website, the Christina Parker Gallery, and at Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery. Reed will also be one of the artists in residence at Medalta this summer.