I took the wood out to Sauvie’s Island. It was a clear day. I took the wood down to a sand ledge next to the Columbia River. The beach was empty. An occasional boat passed along the far side of the river. I split the wood. It was more difficult than I thought it would be. I had never split a wood as hard as walnut before. It was also burl, so the wood was gnarled due to some environmental stress and the spike could not split the grain properly. When I felt that I was done and the anger had subsided, I stopped. I had made four large fractures that ran down the length of the slab. I went down to the water and washed off my hands and splashed water on my face and hair. Then I packed up and left.
Initially, I intended to leave the slab in pieces, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I should put the pieces back together. My faith may have taken a beating, but I have been actively putting it back together again for years. So Split/Salvaged is also about the process of salvaging my faith. My faith—my relationship with God and a faith community—is something important to me and I have chosen to piece it back together again.
I decided to piece the wood back together again using a version of kintsugi, a type of Japanese pottery repair that uses resin and gold. The idea is that due to the gold, the pottery is more beautiful for having been broken. When I went to put the slab back together again, I found that the wood had warped due to the natural tension of the wood. The pieces would not fit back together again the way they had before, so I fit them back together the best I could. This paralleled the act of rebuilding my faith. It was not the same as it once was—it is better because I fought for it. It paralleled the process of making and remaking I experience in my art practice.
|Type of Work||Performance/sculpture|
|Medium||Black walnut slab, silicon, gold paint, diamond wedge, sledgehammer|
|Dimensions||40" x 28" x 4"|
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