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Often times when I am brainstorming concepts for a project, I come up with several variations of my initial idea or approach. The sheer strength of bronze often temps me to create pieces that either appear to defy gravity or give the illusion that there is flexibility where there is none. Such was the case when I played with the idea of a tapered slat being bent by the weight of a human figure. 'Breach', the first of four variations on the bent slat theme, features two figures reaching out toward each other, each atop the end of an opposing bent slat attached to a device that appears to have the capability to bring the figures closer together (or to separate them?). The second piece, 'Pole Bender', has a figure desperately clinging to the end of a bending slat (that seems to be lifting out of its wooden base?). In '12Balls', the figure is juggling balls while balancing on his belly on the very end of the bent slat (do the ten balls on the ground indicate success or failure?). And in the final piece, 'Quandary', the figure dangles precariously at the end of the slat while seemingly trying to make a choice between 2 bags of unknown contents (what is in them and what will happen if he drops another bag?). This, as with the other sculptures, invites the viewer into a story in progress... what brought to the figures to their present situations and what will happen next? The answers will hopefully be as varied as the viewers.
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Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.