December Guest Artists Exhibit - John & Pauline Mason
John Mason - Artist's Statement:
I began stone carving in 2004 after a career teaching modern European History in England and Eastern Europe. The subject of most of my early work has been the human form. The main influence on my approach to carving stone at this time was the sculpture of Jose de Creeft, the Spanish-American pioneer of direct stone carving in the 20th century. De Creeft’s dreamlike, ethereal human forms emerging from the stone had a deep impact on the way I think about stone carving.
What I love most about carving stone is the very thing that makes it difficult – it is a slow process. The shape I want to create from a block of raw material does not appear quickly and my mind is forced to slow down and let my hands do the thinking and discover the strengths and limitations of the stone. Partly as a consequence of this I look more to shape, form and outline in sculpture than realistic detail. Brancusi summed up this particular artistic vision of the real world in the following words: ‘When you see a fish you do not think of its scales, do you?...I just want the flash of the spirit’.
I carve mainly in four stones: soapstone from Virginia; marble from Vermont and Italy; granite from Connecticut; and onyx from British Columbia. Recently I have been creating large outdoor sculptures mounted on oak, walnut and pine pedestals which form an integral part of the work. But whether I carve a Buddha figure, an Egyptian goddess, a pre-Colombian geometric pattern or a Japanese fan, my aim is always to capture ‘the flash of the spirit’.
A reception will be held on Friday December 4th
from 5pm until 7pm