Statements

2011 ARTIST'S STATEMENT 

“VOS VET BLAYBN…” (What will remain..)

     Each of my sculptures has a story. In pre-literate societies, sculpture was a way to both leave a record and to transmit culture. I sculpt to capture special moments of connectedness between people, to capture a geometric unity of form and composition, and hopefully, to depict a warm “sheynkayt” or spiritual beauty. My intent with figurative work is to make interior psychological states visible. 

        Some 3D sculptures are based on actual moments of human connection that I observe myself, and some are based on photographic images. The titles all reflect a meaning to me based on the images. I want to be as sure in my carving as I am in my drawing so I have also been carving by incising shapes on rolled out clay and  making a number of flat, Egyptian-style incised reliefs.

        As a woman as well as a sculptor, I feel that I am one of many "guardians of memory", who devote themselves to preserving images of the goodness and vigor of life. The figures I have carved in the round all represent some identifiable kind of emotion, love or grief or hope recalled. My art conveys transitory and alive moments of human emotion - and the resilience of the figures expressing them. 

        I do not know what the final piece will look like before I start. I take what I know about proportion, balance, symmetry, and deviation from symmetry to create new and organic forms which are recognizable as depictions of people. It is the gesture of each composition that has finally allowed me to invent believable human figures that are representational, though not particularly realistic.

        Carving into firm clay blocks is direct and fast. The limits of the technique force me to find the large movements within the figure. The result is simple, clear, and as alive as I can  leave it.  All pieces could subsequently be enlarged as well as cast in bronze or in concrete, or carved in stone. A range of color and patina is also possible.

               Economy of line, clarity, and vitality have always been the qualities I value in art.

      The use  of simplified forms dependent on curve and counter curve is meant to relate sculptural  volume to  an understandeable geometry.  The unfinished working surfaces are deliberately left to show the marks of the tools. There is both a  technical and a compositional challenge in sculpting more than one figure and the space between them.  The theme of the connection between them is  of strngth and of support, a solidity which sometimes looks like stiffness. The moments of cutting through the block with a wire, first horizontally and then vertically, to rough out the initial piece, are tremendously exciting. It is also critical to stop before the work is overdone. The goal is always emotion: with how little clay, or how simply done, can the emotion be fully expressed. The figures are deliberately chunky, close to and connected to the earth. Carved solid without armature, these latest figures are literally self supporting.  An element of humor in the choices of subjects and titles.  add to a sense of liveliness. There is meant to be an intimacy for the viewer in feeling the centeredness of the figure(s)in their own body.    


                                                 

2011 MERIT AWARD

LOCAL ARTIST SELECTED AND GIVEN A MERIT AWARD

The work of local artist, Joan Rudd, was selected to be included in ART PORT TOWNSEND/EXPRESSIONS NORTHWEST, the Northwind Arts Alliance and Port Townsend Arts Commission's 13th Annual Juried Art Exhibition. It was held August 6-August 28, 2011 in the beautiful Seaport town of Port Townsend, Washington.

Juror, Gary Faigin has been a full-time art professional for over 30 years, with notable accomplishments as a painter, educator and art critic.

Gary selected 86 pieces from 372 works of art submitted from Washington, Alaska, Oregon and British Columbia.  Merit awards were extended to 10 of the artists.

Joan Rudd's work was one of those chosen and she exhibited a painted, terra cotta figurative sculpture, 18" x 9" X 4", entitled "Di tfile di shtile" (The quiet prayer) for which she received an award. 

All the artwork in the show was picked because of its combination of craft, concept and execution. 




2009 ARTIST'S STATEMENT

“Bitere hertsn zoln getreyst vern…” (May bitter hearts be comforted…)

          The images we surround ourselves with do matter. Depictions of the mother/infant bond are iconic in Western art. Sculptural images of the “heart connections” between interdependent adult figures are more rare, though such connections are a psychological truth for some people  and a goal for others.

           My current works generally involve two or three sculpted figures, who literally support and hold onto each other with strength. These  serve to demonstrate through posture and gesture a vision of  basic trust, a restoration of pride and confidence, and of hope for the future.

The process of simplifying and abstracting body forms and faces from life, from some pose of unity which I perceive into some sort of  a geometric unity which others hopefully can perceive, is long rooted in sculptural traditions. It is also modernistic in scope.

Describing form primarily by using the negative space between figures is a relatively modern form of composition. Searching for the vitality and movement which springs from deviation from symmetry is a trait  found in much of the world’s carving tradition, ancient Greek to modern, when depicting the human figure.

The modesty of scale of my recent work is meant to convey charm rather than power. I start with images from life and from photos which make me personally feel happy. I am lately carving  small but massive, rooted, figures in clay, as well as incising light and tender figurative lines into sculptural reliefs. Both types of work follow my visual goals of economy of line, vitality, clarity, and “sheynkeyt” (literally: beauty-fullness).

                                                           Joan Rudd, August 2009 


2008 ARTIST'S STATEMENT

        "Each of my sculptures has a story. In pre-literate societies, sculpture was a way to both leave a record and to transmit culture. I sculpt to capture special moments of connectedness between people, to capture a geometric unity of form and composition, and hopefully, to depict a warm “sheynkayt” or spiritual beauty. My intent with figurative work is to make interior psychological states visible. 


        Some sculptures are based on actual moments of human connection that I observe myself, and some are based on photographic images. The titles all reflect a meaning to me based on the images. I want to be as sure in my carving as I am in my drawing so I have been practicing carving by incising shapes on rolled out clay. 


        As a woman as well as a sculptor, I feel that I am one of many "guardians of memory", who devote themselves to preserving images of the goodness and vigor of life. The figures I have carved in the round all represent some identifiable kind of emotion, love or grief or hope recalled. My art conveys transitory and alive moments of human emotion - and the resilience of the figures expressing them. 


        I do not know what a piece will look like before I start. I take what I know about proportion, balance, symmetry, and deviation from symmetry to create new and organic forms. It is gesture that has finally allowed me to invent believable human figures that are representational, though not particularly realistic.


        Carving into firm clay blocks is direct and fast. The limits of the technique force me to find the large movements within the figure. The result is simple, clear, and alive. All pieces can be enlarged as well as cast in bronze or in concrete, or carved in stone. A range of color and patina is also possible.

        

        Economy of line, clarity, and vitality have always been the qualities I value."


                                                                   Joan Rudd, January 2008



2006 ARTIST’S STATEMENT

"Practicing drawing from live models keeps my eye looking for gesture in every movement. It is gesture which has finally allowed me to invent believable human figures which are representational, though not at all realistic.


This representational art communicates emotion directly, and was produced over the last two years.  Unlike academic realism, these pieces were not begun with the end product in mind.  Rather, carving tools used on damp clay resulted in abstractions of the human figure.  Details are left to the imagination.


Carving into firm clay blocks is direct and fast, and is a relatively new direction for me. The limits of the technique force me to find the large movements within the figure. The result is simple, clear, and as alive as I can make it.


My choice of titles and using the Yiddish language to express them is based on a growing admiration for the sayings of my folk culture.  The wry humor and boundless wisdom of the proverbs sustains me.  Economy of line, clarity, and vitality have always been the qualities I strive for in my art."

                                                                                              

                                                                        Joan Rudd, May 2006