The Family Business News
  • Small Statuary in Ancient Art
  • Brian Sullivan
  • birth giftsinspirationlabor talismans
Small Statuary in Ancient Art

I have always been drawn toward small works of art and in my career I have gravitated toward process-centric modalities. Certainly all genres of art involve process, but perhaps none more so than sculpture.

The Venus or Woman of Willendorf is one of the earliest records of humans venerating the birth event. At only 4 or so inches tall it is a stunning example of the power and drive to create images that have an emotional and almost magical hold on the imagination. Carved in limestone over 24,000 years ago, scholars are reluctant to define with certainty what it's end purpose was but I’d bet that without a doubt it soothed its maker’s mind.

I believe intention is transmuted during the creation of a work art of art; that it resonates and can be read or felt by others. What others feel when in the presence of art created by someone else is certainly influenced to some degree by their perceptions of the subject matter, but primarily the artist's state of mind during the making of the work is the content of the dialogue between the viewer and a work of art.

Walking through the wings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from my first visit there in grade school through to the present, I always visit a particular vitrine in the hallway en route to the Temple of Dendur that is filled with hundreds of devotional Egyptian sculptures. Stopping by that display never fails to give me something.  No matter how many times I have seen the contents of that case, I continue to walk away with more information, with another level of inspiration and wonder awakened.

I made this terracotta sculpture of Kelley in her last trimester of pregnancy for our first daughter.  The process of molding her form in the clay provided a space for me to dwell on and consider the shift underway in our lives.  This statue sits on a table in our bedroom.  Every time I glance at it I recall my state of mind while making it--aware, expectant, somewhat anxious and excited at the same time; a sense that everything about our life was about to change in just a number of weeks. Situating one of our Brooklyn Bambini labor talismans next to this terracotta piece creates a tableau charged with both symbolic and aesthetic power.

  • Brian Sullivan
  • birth giftsinspirationlabor talismans

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