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PATRICA WHALEN-KECK

I have always felt out of step with the focus of mainstream society. We seem to move forward in such a clumsy way both rebuilding and destroying in the same breath. 

These works are a personal expression of a private journey. Through gesture and posture the sculptures communicate reactions to events that occur in the lives of all people. The precarious placement of the figure on small objects symbolizes the fragility of life. Hats symbolize the intellect; headdresses, of shells and milkweed pods, symbolize nature. The stances of the female figures remain sensuous, balanced, and graceful. The figures express the world of external reality and the inner world of the psyche. We all go someplace outside our environment and inside our souls.

My modeling process starts with a simple wax armature. The figurative sculpture takes form as wax is built up and carved away. Wax images made from molds of shells, leaves, or wings are attached as the piece progresses. Most of my work is of the female figure, small in scale, rarely over 18” high. I like the process of casting bronze, it connects us with ancient cultures. I discovered that liquid wax poured inside boxes produces a likeness of that box. By attaching wax images to the surface, small relief sculptures are created. The box series resulted in a collection of works that have different meanings for each viewer.

Though my studio space is small, I am able to model out of wax the figures that will be cast into bronze. I have an area set up with a small electric pan for melting wax and another space for works in progress.  I will usually work on more than one piece at a time. I have had studio space at the Art Center since it was founded in 1996.

Future work will continue to focus on the integrity of the human spirit; the fragility of all life. Victim’s of War is the first of a series using the male form to communicate events. The theme of the series When Birds Sleep depicts the absurdities in life; the intent, that humans and nature are one.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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