Bridging the Gap / by Hayden Michelle

Lately, I have been reflecting on the common thread that has been running through my work as I continue to create winged creatures and beings that propel through the ocean.   As I look back over the last year, taking in the experiences that have transpired, it becomes obvious.  It is my need to explore the alterations that come when we experience life events such as death, changes in health, growth of our children, the deepening of relationship within ourselves and with others while remaining rooted to this earth, full of global and community fluctuations and challenges that are never-ending. 

 "The Power of Presence", (18 x 18 x 3.75 in), cradled panel

"The Power of Presence", (18 x 18 x 3.75 in), cradled panel

 "The Power of Presence", detail

"The Power of Presence", detail

Art-making may start as a way of coping, giving voice to emotions in form and concept that are not easily found in words, and often remains unconscious as I dive into the work.  I take comfort in the deliberateness, exploration, and hard work of creating, and of getting lost in the countless hours of being immersed.  Somewhere along the way, a sculpture morphs into a new being that embodies the symbolism and energy of what is happening in my life as I make the piece.   And I always end up feeling a bit startled by this when it is completed, as there are new teachings in it for me every time. 

 "Night Vision", detail

"Night Vision", detail

 "Night Vision", (12 x 12 x 4.75 in), cradled panel

"Night Vision", (12 x 12 x 4.75 in), cradled panel

Some days the pieces themselves speak of the meaning, and some days it is the process of making the piece that teaches me.  I learn a lot about my own resistance, irritation, perserverence, relief, discovery, faith, and joy in the making.  That is not part of what I initially expected when making art, but provides me with perspective and insight every time I complete a piece (or choose to “compost” it, letting the lessons learned to transfer to new work).  Who knew that letting go would be such a part of art, whether in the process of making, putting it out for others to view, or releasing for others to bring it into their world.  Good practice for this life, I dare say…

 "Linger", (12 x 12 x 4.25 in), cradled panel

"Linger", (12 x 12 x 4.25 in), cradled panel

 "Linger", alternate view

"Linger", alternate view

Art has a way of capturing elements which may be deeply personal for the artist, yet open to fresh interpretation by the viewer each time it is experienced anew.  That is powerful, and drives me to keep creating.  I love that phenomenon when viewing others’ artwork, and know how much an impact that taking in of art has on my psyche.  It connects me to the creative energy that resides in us all, strengthens the ability to be with one another, and to feel part of the greater whole. 

 "Rebirth", (5.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 in)

"Rebirth", (5.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 in)

 "Rebirth", detail

"Rebirth", detail

 "Rebirth", alternate view

"Rebirth", alternate view

 "Rebirth", alternate view

"Rebirth", alternate view

We all go through daily transformation as our lives change, and my continued hope is that art brings beauty, peace, reflection, and deeper meaning to our lives.  I feel immense appreciation for all those who share in this process in a myriad of ways, privileged to be part of this interconnectedness.  May we all feel supported in our metamorphosis...


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