The figure is endlessly expressive; my passion is to simplify its most defining gestures to reveal the spirit within.
My work gravitates toward uplifting and inspirational themes, often Ancient themes, leveraging the figure’s range to draw out transcendent truth and contemporary messages of hope and redemption.
Within this context, my emphasis is on composition. Be it sheep or children, I am looking for the right posture, the natural stance, the proper spacing, the perfect tension to make the work sculpturally compelling. I strive for conceptual consistency from style and patina through to the presentation on the base. Many of my new pieces are displayed on large black walnut blocks. This creates a specific space for the composition to breath and affords a more monumental presence to the work.
Glass is a new medium for me and I am really liking the added dimensionality and the element of luminosity. In a piece like When You Pass Through, there is a great contrast that the cool, rigid glass strikes against the warm, impressionistic bronze, helping to carry the extraordinary elements of the narrative.
Public Art Approach
A beautiful and meaningful work of art enriches the people who encounter it, viewing it only once or seeing it repeatedly. It can make a statement, evoke a feeling, raise a question, create a sense of place, or give rise to reflection. Strong art can also underline and illustrate the mission and vision of a company or institution or community.
As early as my college senior show, in which there were no guidelines, I realized that my creativity actually flourishes best within the context of some parameters…solving a problem…finding the right solution. Therefore, I really enjoy the collaboration of a commission. A client provides a general direction–something they want to express visually, but are not sure what or how.
My conceptual phase begins here, compiling ideas and sketches and dreaming of what is possible and how the medium can be pushed and stretched to its potential. Is there an original, innovative way to express the idea? Can the piece incorporate multiple layers of meaning? Is there a transcendent message? Does the concept have integrity? Is it clear? What is the right medium? These are some of the questions I ask to guide the development of the concept.
Because of the variety of the commissions I have completed, I have gained experience with bronze, wood, forton, and resin, sculpture in the round as well as reliefs on flat surfaces or on curved surfaces. In all of this, I learned early that asking the right questions to the right people is the key. I delegate the phases of the installation to trained professionals whenever possible. My father is an architect and this gave me both a sense for design as well as a collaborative approach to executing my artistic ideas.Clay Enoch Full Biography ››