Essence - Notes


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This is a self selected grouping of my work which stands apart not for intelligence or beauty but that they  are as the title suggests an essence in that the chaff is removed and the kernel i(of this art practice) is left exposed. They are generally simple in subject but complex in import. Not religious or theoretical in nature but they may be called iconic in relation not to others' works but relative to my own oeuvre. 


Traditionally, icons would be placed in the home and were mobile so that you could look at one or more of these as a means to contemplate privately. This is not decorative art for the wall, tools for social change or a status symbol. They are made as living entities. Not that they are entertaining or exciting but to be purposeful as a means of solitary focus. Think that there is some limitations to use the work on-line yet it still can have value through this method. 


My suggestion is consider the image, the materials used and the title. Hold them together within and look at the work or photo of the piece. Perhaps even some background music will help. This is to have you stop from everday life for a short time and reflect. There is no real message to convey but it is maybe like praying in that it is to move you to another mindset or space. If it is done well you should be entranced even for a short time as to cause you to perceive in a different way, inside and out. That is all these artworks can do as these they were made using a similar method. A type of distilling is intended. 


I see these pieces more like traditional Japanese art rather than other forms of icons in that they are like lightning strikes. There is a sudden turn or discovery which is experienced by me as an electrical charge inside; a change in energy. It is my role to seek, receive and transcribe that in material form. A difficult task but a worthwhile challenge. 


I honor those who came before me as teachers and wish only to expand upon their discoveries and knowledge as so many have moved me through their creativity. So many artists in many genres have touched me and brought meaning to my life. I wish in my small way to follow them. 


These works are made from personal deficit not strength. It is a struggle today with too much information and not enough wisdom. Certainly a concern in my art and life. These works wrestle with this issue. There is a paradox intended in simplifying to seek depth and meaning. Some of this is related to my work with architectural drawings in that they are complex with the intention of creating a single entity, the building. Here the materials' rich visual nature is countered through simpler themes. 


My responsibility is to risk and put myself in tension each time where whatever skill developed is brought not to use as a technique to make products but towards expressing what is found in the search. To be vulnerable to what the experience presents and not what I am able or desire to present. 


Kelly Leichert 

June 2021