I am interested in universal iconography of animals, and more importantly in how we as humans essentially respond to their form and inherent traits. Animals have played an all-pervasive role in the history of human kind, and have been observed, depicted, interpreted, utilized, and imbued with cultural and psychological inferences. We attach to them our superstition and ideology and can associate them with mythology and even divinity.
My work is a meditation on these archetypical animal forms who have had presence throughout human history and can embody the basic needs of the human psyche. Inspired by Netsuke, functional miniature Japanese sculptures, I focus on the forms of animals that reside around my rural Northwest studio. I use the black glass to accentuate gesture and to cultivate reverence for commonplace animals.
The hot glass process inspires a rhythm that parallels the rhythm of life, and requires me to work intuitively. I sculpt instinctively and try to remain candid in my portrayal of the subject and to the significance of the act of creating its image.
Shelley Muzlowski Allen at Traver Gallery