palli davene davis
I am an object maker. I need form. My hands need touch telling me how an object is becoming what it is to be. The Holding Stones Series has been my primary body of work since 1993. There is only the simplicity of 3 materials, wood, stone. Together they build a visual vocabulary to consider objects as metaphors for Earth & Man. Stone is the found object, gleaned evidence of the planet's alterations and endurance. Wood, victim to the hand work of man.
Coming from years as a potter, glassblower, woodworker & designer, the idea of utility-however inconsequential-is elemental to my work. So the question comes, why hold stones? Stones carry the ever-present evidence of the Earth's endurance, the everyday evidence of history greater than Man. I treat them as found objects & collect everywhere, in fields, the built landscape, the woods, quarry stone yards, road cuts, rail tracks, & even commercial landscaping. The wood structures give ordinary stones a stature and framing to sense their heft, mass & form. The structural wood engineering fits easily into brainstorming, a consistent exercise in my playful studio thought…all iterations of a single problem: How to hold a stone.
My practice is simple: Go to the studio daily. Work. Have several works in progress all the time. Work in series & sets so the thinking pushes itself forward. Foster the exercise of multiples, allowing the muscular movement of the hand to cause both similarities & eccentricities. Walk in the woods, find a place to sit, listen to think when you get tired. And, finally, always have a set of objects in progress that require simple, clean handwork for evenings “housework” in dutiful homage of the women's’ work of our history. Recently, the cool of the evenings has been spent drawing my own sculptures, trying to capture the slippery memory of muscle process on the paper.