Goetz, Anne Elizabeth
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Plaster is the one material which is common to this group of sculptures. Outside of the art world, plaster is seen simply as a building material. In walls plaster insulates, retards fire, or is used as a cosmetic. For artists plaster has functioned historically as a mold material rather than a finished product. For my purposes, the most important aspect of plaster is its role as a mold material. Since plaster preserves a material’s impression, fulfilling my intention to record processes, I use it as both a tool and as a final product. The effect burning has on materials introduces an element of chance to my procedures. As a process it leaves natural lines by eroding away the structure. The final burning process is one in which I have various degrees of control. Sometimes I will totally abandon control, and let the decisions come from the fire, truly allowing the sculpture to finish itself. If my initial motivation does not demand this, I will douse the flames when the desired result has been achieved. Partial burning of the structure removes and records the material imbedded in the plaster. The basic sculptural forms in my work are shapes that I recognize in nature. The cone is an intriguing shape to use because it simultaneously expands into space and draws space into itself. Several works are spherical deriving from a collapsed cone. Bivalve’s flattened ovals developed from the cone as well. I identify the shapes with elements of my body; cone as womb, sphere a stomach, and strings between elements as vertebrae or skin structure. The thin shells of the sculptures represent skin, a layer which both protects the interior from the environment and vice-versa.