The Language of Life
Most of my recent work has been in the medium of wood. I like to think that which was once a living organism has been reanimated through my sculpture.
All living things tell a story, in fact, they tell many, stories about an individual’s survival in its environment and a species evolution embedded in its genetic material. A tree tells its stories through its annular rings which are read as wood grain.
In reanimating wood through carving I work very slowly as a piece emerges through myriad strokes with rasps and files. Using hand tools for the bulk of the process allows for an intimate relationship to develop between the wood and myself. In the quiet, the wood speaks, tells me of its life and guides me in telling its story.
Stories are told and stories are received. We can hear, see, touch, smell and taste stories from our world. Humans can perceive much but there are stories being told beyond our ability to perceive them. Until recently we knew nothing of the smallest or largest, molecules and galaxies also tell stories. Sometimes the scales are beyond us whether in size or in time.
Records of stories are stored in nature, in wood, ice, and rock. We humans also record stories, first on cave walls, then on clay tablets and paper and now in microchips. We store and collect these stories in libraries.
When not contemplating the processes of life I often think about communication and information storage. So my recent work could be considered in two groups, the information producers, and the information records.
John Cino – January 2017