Before you today, you see a bird hovering over a flower. The bird and the stand are cherry, and the flower is Norwegian maple with a bloodwood inlay. This is, of course, to some degree an abstraction. All drawings, paintings or any representative art is. Some feature of the natural or human world is abstracted to be emphasized over other factors. Even photographs do this, I’m told, through perspective, shading, etc.
Still, my attempts at intellectualizing my abstractions always fail or fall flat. I found out about why that might be true from a teacher who tried to read a short review I had written of an article assigned to our class. She said that my writing was so dense that she couldn’t access my meaning. She was being kind, I think. My writing was indeed dense, but it was also vague and undefined. That’s the way my mind goes when I don’t have something to hang the meanings on. Along comes a story that catches my meaning.
These also must be abstracted. The precise meaning must be defined for the viewer or the reader. The bird, for instance, hovering over the flower depicts nature in all its efficiency and seriousness. Everything is trying to survive. It might seem cute or attractive to the human eye, but every animal is bent on feeding and reproduction. All these relationships are reciprocal. The bird helps the flower to grow and propagate. The bird gets sustenance. In fact, I’m told that a hummingbird lives to eat and eats to live. It must eat all the time. In a way, the sculpture is a blind behind which the bird flutters and the flower blooms. The story brings the bird in the hand.