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A Thoughtful Display

Alex has his A.A.T. with a major in Spanish, and he is working towards his B.S. with a major in art education.

a-thoughtful-display

About The Artist

Victoria Walton is a humble, caring, and kind individual. She is also very talented. We will be discussing one of her recent displays, but she is capable of much more than what we will be observing herein. I've had the privilege to work in the same studio as she works in. Her ability to represent the human form is incredible. I've asked her about this. She has told me that she wasn't exactly born with this talent; she earned it from lots of hard work. Victoria is a woman who makes things. Advanced creation is what humans are good at. And, Victoria is a prime example of this.

About The Art

Victoria's pieces, in this display, are wonderful for multiple reasons. First, they are made with an expert hand. Second, they promote deepened thought. We are immediately prompted to ask ourselves; what does the negative space in the faces mean? Why is it there in the first place? What is the artist trying to tell us? Moreover, why are all of the pieces mere fragments of a body, and not the whole of the thing? Perhaps there is no answer. Perhaps intent is for the observer to wonder about the answers to such questions. Life itself is filled with unanswered questions. Children ask questions all the time that adults have yet to answer. I am satisfied with the questions by themselves.

"Where Do We Go From Here?", Victoria Walton, ceramic sculpture, 2020

"Where Do We Go From Here?", Victoria Walton, ceramic sculpture, 2020

"Where Do We Go From Here?"

This piece really stands out from the others in the room. Aside from the fact that the piece includes two feet, it also differs from the others, because it is the only work in this display that isn't a face. Moreover, it is separated from the other pieces by actually possessing a natural skin tone. The other displays are more abstract in this way. This piece demonstrates a heavy realism, even including an actual shoe. The foundation prompts some additional interest. When viewing art, we should always ask why an artist chose, or didn't choose, a particular foundation. Why is this base so rugged and rough? I prefer my feet to walk on soft and comfortable surfaces. Why did the artist choose a surface that looks ghastly to walk upon with bare feet? Why is the shoe torn? Again, the questions don't always have answers - sometimes, the point is simply to ask the questions.

"Where Is My Mind?", Victoria Walton, mixed media sculpture, 2020

"Where Is My Mind?", Victoria Walton, mixed media sculpture, 2020

"Where Is My Mind?"

This part of the series is a bit more consistent. Although, the feet still fit. However, they were purposefully different, and even laid next to a separate wall. Anyway, we should focus again on this piece. Why are there lines that somewhat resemble tears? Why is the face black? Why are the eye sockets empty? Why is the top of the head absent? So often, we do things without thinking about them - we go on auto-pilot. Perhaps this piece reminds us that conscious awareness is a necessity for a good life. The black could represent an absence of light. Light often symbolizes knowledge or awareness. The "tears" could be symbols of the sad life of the person who lives her waking life still asleep. The lack in the head could encourage these previous ideas - that less consciousness leads to a sad life devoid of the light of understanding.

"Without Vision the People Perish", Victoria Walton, mixed media sculpture, 2020

"Without Vision the People Perish", Victoria Walton, mixed media sculpture, 2020

"Without Vision the People Perish"

This is another fantastic piece in the collection. The message appears very powerful to me. I feel as though this face is an artwork that follows the same theme. Notice the title. What does it mean? Once more, sight could be a metaphor for awareness. Furthermore, the title uses the word "vision" instead of "sight". That may have been very intentional. Vision can mean more than simply the ability to see with the eyes. An absence of vision could be indicative of a lack in the average human of the care to prepare for the future. Also note that the title uses the word "people" in contrast to "person". This implies that there is a collective problem that can arise without this "vision". Vision could also indicate dreams, desires, plans, preparation, etc. There is so much that can be said in a work like this one.

"Losing Language", Victoria Walton, mixed media sculpture, 2020

"Losing Language", Victoria Walton, mixed media sculpture, 2020

"Losing Language"

This is a fantastic work. We are presented with fairly stylized eyebrows. Yet, the nose and eye sockets manifest a kind of hyper-realism. There is even a connection to the "Where Do We Go From Here?" piece, with the partial addition of a skin tone. However, overall the work lacks a realistic skin tone; the skin hue merely shows in parts. This artwork is something of a metaphorical glue, tying the whole display together. Once again, we should ask; why are there some hints of realism, and some hints of the more abstract? Why are there skin toned streaks below the eyes, similar in appearance to tears? Why is the face, along with the others, segmented into parts? Why are the heads attached to wood? There are likely profound reasons for relatively minor details in the art. We should always think about the reasons for even the trivial elements of a sculpture, and for any work of art.

Conclusion

Victoria is one of the most talented artists I've ever had the privilege to work alongside. She is still making art at present, and I hope she continues to make many amazing things in the future.

© 2020 Alexander James Guckenberger

Comments

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 30, 2020:

I liked how you explained your thoughts after each display. Made me appreciate the pieces more.