Sculpture No.632_ Fortitude (2013- 18)
30” x 63” tall, welded repurposed metals in found finishes oiled.
The sculpture called Fortitude was inspired over three years of helping a family member – survive – three severe medical conditions.
Fortitude is one piece to the series that was created through what I call energy memory.
My journal read:
We have all had Life’s Explosions that lead to one hell of a ride – clinging on to life- a beat at a time- hanging by a thread- spun with exhaustion but functioning in black coffee and cholate- cholate cupcakes from the cafeteria, one unexpected event after another- to land at the Cleveland Clinic, a place that saved her life.
The work is showing 2019 at North Bennington Vermont and they have a voice tour my scrip is as follows-
I use re-purposed objects, specifically for their metaphor and insinuations. For instance, the center welded piece which I refer to as the “Heart” swings and sways in the grip of the ice tongs- the tongs grip is especially strong like the bond of a mother and daughter, with handles that mark the mother womb and edged with points that perceive personal realities and boundaries – frame the cavity and negative space of the figure. Heavy weld marks the heart with the context to disease, In this case, called hardening of the heart. There are many details like the welded chambers can be thought of as nuances of being, or memory. The chain full of emotion tethers the heart to the frame and miracle of technology which hangs on a hay hook representing the health care system as the Heart kinetically moves in and out of dimensions of a book I was reading- the Great Chain Of Being. The work even considers my personal practices, when something unknown happens I explore philosophical-historical- and biblical ideals. On this tour, we questioned everything as we traveled many unknown miles on one leg just like the work stands. The Brinks Lock – holds the heart to the structure – securing the heart under lock and key; life’s most prized possession. The other legs stand precariously forward on a ladder that ends in pointed and deadly sharp rungs, all things that could happen or had already happened is secured by the hand grasping stability from a walking cane that propped her up, like the healthcare we received. As you can see for me the work is a deeply personal experience and if ever you have questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me at michellevara.com
And Please note I am NOT telling you what to see- everyone brings there own history and thoughts to the work. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong in viewing art.