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.

Artwork Info

Type of Work Performance/sculpture
Medium Black walnut slab, silicon, gold paint, diamond wedge, sledgehammer
Dimensions 40" x 28" x 4"

Artist Info

Gregory Gonzalez

Joined: February 9, 2010

Rights: All Rights Reserved

Appears In 1 Album

20 items

Greg Gonzalez BFA Painting Thesis Spring 2015