Sitting with my knees crouched in my arms, on a sunny day, in a barren concrete parking lot, I am watching over/guarding my father’s home/property. From where I am sitting the property is not visible, a large mound of dirt blocks the view. Bored and restless I get up to do my routine check. To my surprise it appears under construction, fenced in with a large crane in the middle of the site. The house is missing, only a foundation remains and it appears that the main gas line is being repaired/replaced. As I walk along the fence I notice many 2-3 metre circular vents that are inset into the ground equally spaced along the perimeter wall. I return to the parking lot and sit down. Three men walk over the large mound of dirt in heated conversation. After some time they all drop to the ground in a depressed state. Within metres, I turn to them and say do you need any help? One of them says “sure”, I get up and walk over, he says bring back “the screw” that is behind an open door marked “Randolph” on his property. When I walk over to his property there are no open doors and there appears to be very high tech security measures in place that resemble Star Trek. To enter the property you have to pass through metallic thresholds with illuminated touch screens and security card features. In the dream I transform into a bug and hide under a sign above one of the thresholds. At some point somebody opens the door of the threshold, I remember seeing a line of pinkish/red light flash. As the person passes through I quickly fly to the other side. While on the other side I grab “the screw” and patiently wait for the door to reopen.
The dream presents a narrative structure of conception/rebirth- sperm meets egg. The artist (the heroic sperm), accomplishes what, “three depressed men” (other sperm), are unable to achieve- penetration of the defense system (fertilization of the egg). Utilizing a kind of sperm consciousness, the artist shifts scale and transforms into an opportunistic fly. Navigating with lightening speed the high tech defense system is breached at the precise moment of weakness/acceptance. Acquisition of, “the screw” is the symbol of union between the masculine/feminine and represents the inspiration for the sculptural art piece.
Aptly titled, Screw Enso it emulates a traditional Japanese art, Shodo, to capture the gestalt of the dream. Shodo is an ancient form of handwriting refined and developed in Japan from China. Unlike Western language which adopts an alphabet of letters to create words, Japanese language is pictographic; characters embody meaning that is interpreted as a picture. Highly ritualized, the traditional practice of Shodo requires a solid, ink stick to be rubbed repeatedly against a rough incline filled with water, until the desired ink-water viscosity is achieved. Characters are crafted from a careful construction of sequential brush strokes. The aim of Shodo is to represent the traditional meaning of a character whilst infusing artistic value. The artist imbues the work with emotion and energy in the language of lines. The success of a character is judged by how well the artist interprets the essence of the character.
Enso is a one-stroke art piece that the Sensei offered once a year as an external marker of a student’s progress. One at a time, the group watched as each student picked up a brush, dipped it in a shallow pool of ink and spontaneously created a circle with one continuous stroke. Clockwise/counterclockwise, fast/slow, the movement made the unconscious conscious. Artwork became the somatic expression of the Self. The deliberateness of the exercise coupled with the mandala qualities made Enshu the ideal vessel for the symbolic union imagery.
Substituting machined screws for ink the sculptural piece emulates the visual effect of brushstrokes via regulated lines. Converge, diverge and break apart in the same manner as a brushstroke the overall shape derives from a compilation of sketches and was modified in-situ. The painted backdrop emulates rice paper and is sprinkled with gold leaf offerings. Lastly, shadow fluctuations enliven the piece as sun angles change over the course of the day and diffuse through the forest of screws.
In honor of the Self this art piece celebrates the birth of new masculine values in the psyche and encapsulates the unfolding mystery in an ancient form- the circle.