The Minimal Dance

I was almost out of my accustomed wire for sculpting, certainly hadn’t enough to begin and complete a figure with one unbroken strand. I had ordered more, but I felt the  inclination to see what might happen if I used existing materials. There was the wire I used only for stands, it being heavy and harder to manage – impossible when it came to more intricate things such as fingers and toes. Then I had a spool of brass wire – also hard to handle, but thinner so more possible. I had used it for the small bird that flew above the last angel’s head. Needle nosed pliers could be called upon in a pinch. Aha…

There is only one way to find out anything. Begin… I took the heavier aluminum in hand and imagined drawing a fluid black line on paper. People have always said my wire sculptures remind them of my drawings. I began with the head – formed the smooth curving oval that flowed right into the torso’s gesture that flowed right into the long line of the supporting leg. I could have stopped there; I could already see my dancer “en arabesque”. I did pause and let the dancer rest – just as she was. Yet, even as I saw the line that told me who she was, I also saw the complimentary gold of the thinner and  contrasting wire as it defined and freed her gesture to move beyond itself.

I admit to the struggle. The shining stuff was naturally resistant to my fingers’ attempts to force the wire to express what I saw. I must find a place between relaxing and letting the form become and determinedly assisting the wire to bend in uncharacteristic ways. Together we achieved a balancing act. This required much patience on my part, and appreciation for what was possible. Lovely to see the wire assume an arm-like gesture on its own and then apply myself to the more obvious shape of hand with fingers. This dancer’s creation was experimental from the beginning. I allowed myself the role of the explorer, which is – after all – the role I am most suited for.

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2 Responses to “The Minimal Dance”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Your explanation of how it happened makes the dancer even MORE amazing than if we didn’t know. Her simplicity, the power of the lines, reminds me of the most minimal of the paper sculptures in BETWEEN THE FOLDS, which I watched on your recommendation and loved. It’s all about the lines here, and your choice to work with what you had on hand led you to make new uses of the brass wire. It works wonderfully, in my opinion.

  2. leiflife Says:

    I am pleased too by my minimal dancer, and look forward, perhaps to a series of such – each having its own gesture. Is it alright to continue to do the other affordable pieces for people to buy, while continuing my explorations with the minimal dance? Daddy’s old idea of public and private art…

    I love it that you thought of BETWEEN THE FOLDS – and that you comment on the power of the line. Your opinion matters – infinitely.

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