Ann Roberts

Aegean Sagas: new sculpture

September 3 – 27, 2009

My work has often been classified as narrative however there is seldom a direct story line in my sculptures. Fragments of myths read or verbally recounted, art historical images, or pieces of my life become enmeshed in the fabric of each sculpture. Sometimes these images reoccur in a later work and at other times they transmute, take on analogous persona or evolve from the recent past, as if the act of thinking and making were a continuum.

Youthful encounters with Greek myths left me with a muddle of warring gods. Later through art history I reveled in the pleasure of cavorting Greek bodies drawn on pots and sculptures of athletic bodies caught in mid-gesture. When finally I traveled to Greece in 2002, I discovered a physical landscape of mountains and sea where Zeus the seducer lurked everywhere amongst strong contemporary females.

Hand building in clay is solitary and peaceful work. A word or phrase can transform mental images into a tangible sculpture, bringing the original concept to life in a form that can be interpreted on differing levels with layered implications. The feel of clay is beguiling and friendly: a rhythmic interplay of hands speaking to each other through a thin wall of clay. The hollow figure becomes a container, a natural volume similar to a pot as it opens and rises on a potter’s wheel. Fingers move in well-worn patterns, one hand inside swelling the volume, while the other works the outer surface defining a detail or creating the illusion of one form moving through another.

My work often uses women to portray the interaction of life forces. I view contemporary women as wishing to be in control of their lives and destiny, yet tied to the deeper forces of nature in which they are sensuous and active participants. I seek the unsettling or non-explicit line between an easily recognisable reference and the unknown. The rich heritage that exists in myth and legend is enjoyable, not as stale historical stories, but as the concrete vestiges of the rites and rituals surrounding mortality and sexuality.