Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you
~ William Butler Yeats
n a time where so much of our interaction with our environment offers little more opportunity for involvement than a press of a button or the rapid blur of fingers on a keyboard, there is a hunger for the tactile. As foreign and intimidating as it may have become, we crave physical engagement. The pleasure of pressing against something and having it push back ~ or give way to our touch.
Consider the artist who creates in clay, the one who is not afraid to get her hands dirty as she works to form a three-dimensional replica of what she sees inside her head, feels inside her soul.
How can such an experience so rooted in our most primal of needs for touch, not bring us closer to both the mysterious and the real?
INTERVIEW WITH OREGON SCULPTOR, CARY WEIGAND
Drain, Oregon ~
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Cary, your sculptures in clay take us to some richly conceived places. Where do these micro-worlds come from?
Cary Weigand: Internal and external micro-worlds can get pretty overwhelming. The microbes in soil that act as a medium of exchange for nourishment comes to mind. A moment may give way to a concept that I begin with, however the process of layering the clay takes time, so developing the concept becomes something more akin to the growth of branches on a tree.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Have you ever been surprised by the direction a piece as taken you?
Cary Weigand: Yes, this process leads me to moments of surprise when something materializes to reveal something deeper from my subconscious.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: What were some of the stories that ignited you as a child? What feeds your imagination now?
Cary Weigand: The influence of growing up in Hawaii with its religious diversity, even over particular stories. Visions of shrines ~ Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic ~ all within a block of each other, surrounded by ocean. I want to express their relationship with one another, but it’s even more about the way the ocean moves than the stories themselves.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Who were your dearest childhood companions? How important was it for you to be out in nature? How essential is it for you even now (or even more so now) to be connected to the wilds?
Cary Weigand: We always had pets growing up. [quote]Connecting to the untamable and the uncontrollable feels like the irony of life. [/quote]
Deanna Phoenix Selene: What fills you with wonder?
Cary Weigand: Definitely my dog, but also the feelings and thoughts of connectedness. That we are part of a greater whole and nothing is separate.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: If you could only pack your very essentials to take with you on a canoe trip to parts unknown and with no pre-planned date to return?
Cary Weigand: What would be the essentials that I would take? Oh my, well I better find someone who can help me with survival skills to this unknown place. I think of my dog as a guardian spirit in my own life. This is why most of my sculptures incorporate these types of spirit entities as they exist externally and internally.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: When you’re working on a piece that holds perhaps some sadness for you, what is that process like? Is it difficult to stay in that emotional space for too long? Do you need to periodically pull out and shake those feelings off? Or does it work best if you’re willing to make yourself go deep and stay there until the piece is done?
Cary Weigand:[quote] I hope that what may appear as sadness is instead understood as quiet reverence. I hope for my work to be about listening and trying to understand instead of displays of power. Personally, when sitting in sadness, there seems to be a deeper resonance of love and forgiveness underneath it. On the flip side, what I do struggle with is depression and anxiety. I can’t quite seem to figure out what’s underneath this one, as it feels more like an inescapable affliction. Because of the way I layer the clay, day by day, I can’t just stop on a piece, I have to continue to work no mater what I am experiencing.[/quote]
Deanna Phoenix Selene: What keeps you balanced?
Cary Weigand: Still working on this one, but fundamentally I strive for whole organic food, and falling in love with the little things of life: dog whiskers, the sound of wind and shadows, the music in landscapes.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: What led you to become a sculptor? What gifts does working in clay afford you that is vastly different from working in less tactile mediums?
Cary Weigand: Words and logically making sense have always been a struggle. I took some art classes at a community collage in my 20’s and it become a profound form of expression for me. The clay class in particular, where I could poke, push and tear, took on the beginnings of a love affair that changed into a relationship of love and respect.
Cary Weigand was born and raised in Hawaii, where she earned her BFA and MFA from the University of Hawaii in 2003. Cary’s work has been published in Ceramics Technical, and she was awarded one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists for 2011.
The Art Spirit Gallery is honored to be the exclusive gallery showing Cary’s work. Her show opens this weekend and runs through May 31, 2014.
Cary Weigand will conduct an informal discussion and demonstration in the gallery starting at 1 on Sat., May 10. Everyone is Welcome.
For more information, visit the gallery website,