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Nana Schowalter / Sculptor
Artist's Statement and Resume
I am a sculptor. My most recent work is a series entitled Magic Objects. The inspiration for these pieces comes from my dreams and research about symbols and objects of ancient cultures. I am most interested in the images left us before the development of written language, for these symbols carry a pulse to the lives of ancient humankind and tell us what images carried meaning for them. These ancient people did not by definition make art, but rather made objects that symbolized spirituality and served as sacred objects during rituals and celebrations. I am intrigued with a time when a society's lifeline relied on the spiritual beliefs of its people.
My Magic Objects are an attempt to awaken and rekindle personal spirituality. Sculptures in the series are contemporary interpretations of ancient Deities and reliquary. They are an attempt to explore the doctrine of pantheism through the ages. The function of these objects and their placement in the timeframe of past, present or future is left to the imagination and discretion of the viewer.
I am involved in the ancient art of blacksmithing. My work includes the technique of forging hot steel and incorporating nonferrous metals as secondary and tertiary color elements. Steel, though a very unyielding material in its cold state, becomes extremely plastic when heated. It is during this super-heated state, which lasts for 10 to 30 seconds, that the metal can be hammered and shaped into the desired form. The integration of nonferrous metals allows for a broad palette of color as I become more familiar with a variety of patination processes and continue to explore the wide range of aesthetic possibilities available through this combination of techniques. I continue to research forging techniques and incorporate the results in the Magic Objects in a way that allows the series to become a sampler of the plasticity of steel.
There are many more Magic Objects on the drawing board, as well as a series of steel and copper Garden Spirit sculptures. In using the garden as a placement for the sculptures, I am able to increase the scale, and include the influence of natural surroundings in their design.
Moon Over Isis
Moon Over Isis
Copyright 1995 Nana Schowalter / ArtMetal
ArtMetal Curator: Enrique Vega