Architectural Sculptor Patrick Gracewood recently emailed with the following observation: “I’m a sculptor in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog, especially when I saw your manifesto link. Sadly, not too much there yet.”
I’d like to share my manifesto with you,” he added. “A manifesto is by definition (mine anyway) a public declaration. Here’s the background setting. For the past 20 years, I’ve been working creating architectural sculpture for historic restoration and new construction. Sadly the business closed last year, another casualty of the recession.
I was so angry at the lack of paying work, the competition for new sculpture, which is done on computer and machines, and my own loss of earnings that I wrote my manifesto.
Writing it was good, because it helped me get clear on what mattered, and what I wanted to do. Artists need to be skilled at re-inventing themselves!
Image: "St. Francis" cast stone relief panel on steel frame 56 x 24 x 24 inches, © Patrick Gracewood, used with permission.
Here is Patrick's Manifesto.
I LOVE creating architectural sculpture. For 20 years I’ve helped restore historic terra cotta building facades and designed new architectural ornament for new construction. Most of the relief sculptures were of plants: grape vines, laurel, oak, acanthus leaves, swags and garlands of fruit and flowers.
All these are symbols of living nature. They represent patterns of wholeness that have been with us, on our buildings, for thousands years. Think Roman, no, think Greek, think Egyptian art. This long tradition is art about nature, art that says we are directly connected to nature, still a part of it. I believe there is still a need for this kind of art.
In a sterile world of steel and glass buildings, concrete, and increasingly virtual experiences, I want this tradition, this art and craft of making buildings that reflect nature back to us, to survive.
I want to see and make art that bears the direct handmarks of its making.
I want to see and make art that might not be flawlessly perfect (because machines are now doing that) but is much more humane, because it's made by the living - and so stands a chance of becoming a living work of art that will speak to future generations.
Surprisingly,” Patrick adds, “the manifesto was much easier to write than an artist's statement....nothing like the juice of real emotion for fuel. If I can’t work on architecture," he adds, " I'll create my own architectural fragments (I love Romanesque art). The good news is that as artists we get to create new realities for ourselves and the world. Hopefully some new financial ones too!"
I really relate to Patrick's statement about wanting to create a living work of art, reflecting nature back to us. I'll be adding some his thoughts to the Ancient Artist Manifesto page. Please click here if you would like to contribute your thoughts to this growing Manifesto.
Here are links to Patrick Gracewood's Website and Blog:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO MY STUDIO BLOG "SUE SMITH'S STUDIO" ON BLOGGER
Recently the emails indicating updates to Sue Smith's Studio have gone awry. Feedblitz says it has to do with an incorrect RSS code, but after hours spent click-and-pasting codes and trying to follow the instructions provided I found it necessary to delete the email delivery for that particular blog.
I know that receiving these emails with "links to nowhere" has been frustrating and irritating to quite a lot of you and I apologize. Sincerely. I have always appreciated your support and the interest in my work by fellow artists.
I hope you will choose to follow the blog either in a Google or similar reader, bookmark, or as a "follower." Here is the link to Sue Smith's Studio for your convenience.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO YOU ALL!