Kiyomi Iwata and my 3d dilemma
“Water, Earth & Sky Two, 2002
Silk Organza, stiffened, gold leaf, metal wire…”
I am currently working on creating a sculpture using metal and upon becoming frustrated with its direction, I went looking around cyberspace for inspiration to move me along in my creative thinking. I found it.
Kiyomi Iwata was born in Japan in 1941 and combines traditional Japanese crafting techniques with contemporary American art and is challenging the definitions of textiles as high art. Her work chronicles her journey as an artist and she uses it as a kind of emotional diary. I am drawn to the ephemeral nature of her work with textiles such as Organza and Silk, juxtaposed by her use of wire to create permanence and form. Kiyomi says that all of her work contains mystery and she encourages the viewer to go close and inspect it.
The cubes I have been making have always been destined to be representative of the permanent state of self, the bones of who and what we are. My intention then was to cloak this “skeleton” with thoughts and feelings and to implant deep within this structure, that most secret of things: the hidden self; exploring the relationship between the individual and society and those primitive, conscious and unconscious urges that lead to self-awareness and the potential that we all have to become a better version of ourselves.
So to my dilemma: I love the possibilities that metal gives me but is it too cold and unyielding?
Kiyomi Iwata uses wire as an accent, a distinct emphasis symbolic of permanence. Maybe using metal or wire could be used in a similar fashion in my own work: to be an accent, an emphasis on the framing of an emotion and not as a cold, hard truth.
Chrysalis Four, 2014 – part of the Volume to Line which opened at the Visual Arts Centre in Richmond, USA. The pieces in the exhibition each symbolise change, serendipity and interconnectedness. You can watch an interview of Kiyomi speaking about her work through the link below:
Mimicking a series of enlarged silkworm cocoons, they explore her difficult transition moving from Japan to America. I am again drawn to the concept of shadow and hidden spaces.