Wednesday, February 27, 2008

artist statement

Shelby Davis

I am an artist because I grew up playing in the woods of South Carolina by my self. I definitely did what I wanted so long as I was home for dinner. Now I put more restrictions on myself. Perhaps parameters or challenges are better words than restriction. Either way the kid that built forts is still here. I set up games for myself to play. Sometimes the game is to find the most important details surrounding a person or material or situation and highlight them. Sometimes it is to highlight the complexity of the details. Sometimes the idea is still just to play.

I'm a sculptor because I like touching different types of material and learning to use the tools that manipulate them. I am curious and am always trying to figure out how things work. Many times I have started projects simply by studying how a tool, program, or piece of equipment is most effective. I feel like I am trying to develop a line of questioning that is a mixture of scientific and intuitive. Listening, translating and practicing are important to grasping any answers that come along and I am trying to develop these as a skills.

I have recently been working collaboratively because I like seeing what others bring to the creative process. The input of others brings more layers of meaning for me and adds to the story behind a project's development. It also makes me feel part of a community. I have been facilitating the building of stories based off non fiction and trying to help people tell them in the way that is most interesting to them. Each story is told by a different person and can be heard through your cell phone as you make your way around an exhibition of mixed media vignettes. An element of which is a whittled portrait of the author. I have always learned from a good story and a good storyteller. Loud with emphatic gestures, slow and soft with the perfect descriptions, too many tangents, timing, punch lines, climaxes, and morals, all of it leaves an impression of some sort. What is that?

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