The initial inspiration for the Psychonaut series of small sculptures came from, of all things, a scene in one of my favorite movies, Contact, staring Jodie Foster. In this scene Foster's character Ellie is travelling through space and time via wormholes and she is overcome by the sheer awesome beauty and magnificence of the celestial wonders she encounters and at one point she utters the line, "They should have sent a poet". That line has always stuck with me and there was a moment about half way through working on the first sculpture when something clicked into place and I saw in this piece an astronaut's helmet and she was gazing into space among the stars and planets, with a sun overhead and wormholes before her. At that moment the line popped into my head and I knew what I wanted this sculpture to embody. I hope you enjoy this series of small sculptures.
As a small aside, I want to share with you an extract from a book on Japanese lacquer works called "Breaking Out Of Tradition". The book covers Japanese lacquer work from 1890 to 1950. This short extract touches upon something subtle and essential that is embodied in the spirit and philosophy of these incredibiliy talented and dedicated artisans and craftsfolk which in turns holds a mirror to our modern culture of quick mass produced and consumed items. It's an interesting reflection that warrants some consideration.
"Time-intensive manufacturing processes mean sophistication and preciousness - at any time, in any culture. Today, nothing is more rare than skilfully handmade objects, especially in the Western world. Japanese works of lacquer require hundreds of steps of 'becoming'. For centuries, lacquer masters have conceived, designed and created urushi objects working with special tools and applying vast amounts of experience. Outside of their expertise and specialised world, only the well-trained eye of the learned beholder is able to recognise the artistic value, superb quality and craftsmanship that stand behind each work. It presents special joy to learn from the specialists and connoisseurs as well as gain a deeper understanding of the processes and products." - Breaking Out Of Tradition, Gudrun Buhl, Director, Museum für Lackkunst
Bespoke Gems is home to the most beautifully cut and polished gems in the world. Here you can discover the true art of the gemcutter and see just how incredible coloured gemstones can really be. An extensive library of classic, contemporary and unique one-of-a-kind designs, all carefully optimised to bring out the best in each and every gem, are available for you to choose from. Doug Menadue, master gemcutter, can personally craft for you a gem, tailored to your individual requirements, that you will be proud to own. In a time of so much mass produced clutter and rubbish, to discover something small and precious that demands such a sacrifice of time and attention to detail, is to give hope to the fact that the art of handcrafting beautiful things is not lost to us. It is good to know that there are those who continue on the traditions.
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