Price, Melba Jo
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When I began making life size figurative sculpture two years ago my pieces were colorful, gawky bird women, depicting a situation of extreme anguish or depression. After re-evaluating the images I had chosen to portray, I realized I was -giving a false interpretation of how I see myself in relation to the world. What I wanted was to make sculpture that dealt with quieter introspective feelings and avoid obvious statements about accessible emotions. In order to address a certain state of being that has to do with a general state of consciousness, I have chosen not to give the figures a specific gender. My focus is to give an impression of all human beings rather than to narrate specific instances about people. I have a unique set of thoughts and experiences that no one else could have unless they were me. I choose to use the figure as a vehicle of expression because my biological self is the thing I have the most complete understanding of. Expressing the mind through the body has become for me an honest and direct form of communication. Imitating the gesture and pose of each piece is an integral part of the way I work. The physical gesture involved in applying the paper mache directly to the armature, possesses for me an intelligibly sensual experience that I believe is communicated through the surface of the sculpture. I have used color to activate the installation and keep the viewers' eyes moving. Decisions concerning color and gesture were based on the colors and linear qualities of the previous completed pieces. Color choices were made to avoid obvious cliches about color and emotion. In order to reiterate the concept of a general state of consciousness the movement changes only slightly from figure to figure My intent has been that each piece works as a separate entity as well as within the group. To perfectly render human anatomy for me would be distracting and serve only to pin point people as personalities. I have focused on the essence of the figure so that the image can become a reflection of the subconscious.