A passion for nature and experimentation
Art has been at the center of my world from the beginning; I knew from an early age I was an artist at heart. As the time came to choose a career path the natural choice was art, yet out of concern for my future my parents insisted I choose a more practical career in art. The venue for my initial education came through the Art Institute of Atlanta. Advertising has and always will hold great opportunities for artists; yet, it was not my calling. Quite aware of this aspect I was determined to make my way in the world connected to art.
After many years in advertising I longed for something more purposeful and completed a M.A.Ed from Georgia State University. While working toward my Graduate degree in June of 2005 an opportunity to teach fine art in a public high school seemed fated. In July of 2005 I began the arduous journey of teaching art in the public sector.
Although consumed with the demands of teaching I continued experimenting with my process striving for clarity in my artistic vision. "It" had been a long time of seeking to find what I know in my heart to be my "true" creative voice. Prone to experimentation through a myriad of processes and techniques I was seeking my authentic voice. The catalyst for clarity came after a blow to the head enabling me to experience a new relationship to my existence and awareness of the mortality of life . . . to uncover the bones / resources that had long been buried in my own creative backyard.
Life had ironically been at a break neck pace. The concussion presented the space and place for me to become still and reawaken to the creative force begging for expression through me. The rumblings of the creative force within me had become buried under the demands of material life for too long.
Each piece in the "Bird Tribe" series was born of inspiration at the source, a vision of possibility when handling the raw materials. Ultimately, taking life through the spontaneous creation of an armature and from there a fleshing out of the possibility for form.
I uncovered shards of the past in the process of creating the piece I call "heartdancer". The connectedness to childhood memories and cultural influences that had been shaping my personal voice became a conscious awakening through the creation of
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Ideally, I envision the works of "Bird Tribe" placed in a setting created as a sanctuary of light and shadow. In the early stages of the work I began to understand and perfect upon technique; building upon the knowledge of my process and how to arrive more viably to what could be conceived as sculpture. The delicate tension and use of materials were tantamount, yet arriving at something structurally sound was necessary.
I pulled from my experiences as an undergraduate at Kennesaw State University under the phenomenal tutelage of sculptor Ayokunle Odeleye. I loved working with plaster during that time. Professor Odeleye would try to convince me of the importance of more permanent materials to leave my mark upon the planet. And yet, I was drawn to the impermanence of paper and plaster.
Internally as "Bird Tribe" evolved I began to question why I loved working with the plaster so . . . and as I worked dotting and building up the transitions from the infrastructure to the shell and the careful transitioning of materials feelings, and memories of childhood wafted about me. I began using shells for mixing cups and watching the wet particles of plaster blending about the walls of the shell. The swirling particles floating in the shell reminded me of glorious moments playing in the tide pools at the beach. How I loved to take the elusive wet sand in my hands and let it drip, drip, drip into wet piles constructing mounds elusive in form.
There is something vast and eternal about large bodies of water . . . perhaps the metaphor of "body of work" inherent to each artist's life blood. Bodies of water bring an awareness for me to the remembrance of something greater beyond self. In my life great solitude and regeneration have been found by time spent in nature or visiting the seashore. At each pivotal point in my life I found sanctuary in seeking out large bodies of water. They provide a reconnection when the big picture has been lost.
Much like meditation, taking in the seashore connects me to the source . . . like the big sky country of arizona where one can't help seeming small, yet accepting our important role in this abundant universe.
All rights reserved, copyright Charlotte Turner 2014.