In my blog of 9/28/13 I wrote about the difficulty of selecting artwork that could fit the requirements of art shows that have themes. I recently found myself trying to select a sculpture that might be a suitable entry for the upcoming "Innerscape" themed exhibit at the River Arts Gallery in Damariscotta. I was feeling that a juror might interpret "Innerscape'" as some sort of interior landscape, as opposed to a broader interpretation, such as inner self. I emailed Linda Morkeski, River Arts' Executive Director, and she agreed that I should think of "inner" in the broader sense... that "inside" might be a direction I could go in for sculpture. This expanded interpretation of the theme led me to select one of my small bronze sculptures, 'Lady Bountiful', as an entry for the show.
The name of this piece evolved from my interest in cartoon art. I am a longtime collector of art and books related to cartooning, and I was aware of a turn of the century newspaper comic strip drawn by cartoonist Gene Carr that was titled 'Lady Bountiful'. Just as I felt the poultry waterer and the buxom bronze torso had a kinship as dispensers of essential liquid sustenance, Carr's Lady Bountiful character was woman of means who dispensed care and support to poor street urchins. I knew that the term 'Lady Bountiful' had been used prior to the publishing of Carr's comic strip and in my research of the strip I found that 'Lady Bountiful' had been one of the major characters in writer George Farquhar's 1707 comedy titled "The Beaux Stratagem". Farquhar's 'Lady B' also had been a wealthy woman who devoted much her life to doing good works for the less fortunate. I felt my piece was in good company.
As for the connection of my piece to the theme of "innerscape" -
the bronze torso is a symbolic dispenser contained within an actual dispenser, which is in turn an actual container. The bronze is therefore in the 'innerscape" of the container. *Rest my case.