I was invited to be Artist in Residence at the Kitty Harri Sculpture Garden in Andalusia, Spain for the months of December 2018 and January 2019. The Residency allowed for me to work in studio on local marble and interact with the guests visiting the Garden, showing them stone sculpting techniques and answering their questions. I carved two large sculptures for the Garden’s permanent collection.
“Emergence” in the second sculpture I carved and my first piece of 2019. The stone is a white marble from Macael, Spain that has faint linear striations of light grey. I proposed three different ideas to the Garden owners and they chose this composition. It is a horse emerging out of the end of a breaking ocean wave. initially I intended to carve the horse emerging from the end of the block of stone and for its mane to become surface ocean waves. But as I was working on the block, I noted a faint scratch on the side of the block left by a quarry excavator that swooped in an arc. This inspired me to change the water image to a breaking wave. I created a portion of the horse’s mane to mimic the wave shape and then carved the inside of the wave so it was thin enough to allow light through from the back, but did not cut through the marble. The resulting shapes of the animal and water change the linear grey striations into undulating lines, adding to the illusion of movement.
Upon completion of the sculpture, I realized that it is representational of an important period of my life. My year abroad was intended to inspire me and to re-energize my creativity, as I had been in a “writer’s block” for several years, and it worked. This sculpture is symbolic of me (the horse) emerging from that non- artistic place. It almost seems like the horse is straining to pull the power of the ocean in an opposing direction, like me wanting to change my creative inertia.
“Emergence” is part of the permanent international art collection of the Kitty Harri Sculpture Garden. It has been installed on a special pedestal at the bottom of the garden with a fantastic backdrop view down the valley to the Costa del Sol and the Mediterranean Sea.