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JulieSwanSculpture's avatar

'still here...'

This work is my attempt to re-interpret the ancient icon of Tara in a contemporary context.

I wanted to show this female energy appearing to spin out of control while trying to stay in the traditional meditation position. One hand is 'touching earth' while the other hand still holds the lotus of 'enlightenment'.

I have given the impression of 'modern' clothing (stiletto heels etc a symbolic gesture to suggest the alluring and often unnatural complexities in our lives.

She is not absolutely calm and serene but she represents the position of many women today. Still aiming for awareness and compassion...... 'still hanging in there!'
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© 2009 - 2021 JulieSwanSculpture
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Carbune's avatar

amazing! <3 love it so much

ariya-sacca's avatar
Very beautiful work!
dimitrioustalidas's avatar
Your welcome, thanks for visiting my page :)
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thanks Ambika! I loved visiting your site. Thank you for posting the interesting images and your thoughts about your travels. My sincere best wishes to you. Take Care!
SkiethWebb's avatar
Simply Beautiful. I especially love the detail you put into the shoes.
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thank you 'probs''s always so enjoyable to put in some detail once the main form is worked out.
NLTSculptor's avatar
May I ask how large this work is? It certainly expresses what you were trying to get across, and very well, too! I know the feeling! As a wife, a mother, a working woman, and an artist all at once, I often felt that sense of searching for my own balance...
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Ah Norma....I would agree and add that it is always something of a challenge for every artist to find a balance.....but in many ways especially for women. I certainly haven't yet. In many ways I try to 'fit' my art practice in and around other responsibilities. I have chosen to live and work in isolation but even so it is not always possible to switch off from others. Does that mean that to be really successful you have to be selfish.....I hope not.
NLTSculptor's avatar
One of my daughters - TeddieM - once asked me if it was easier for men to make art than women. I said, "of course it is! They have wives!" One of the famous modern artists who was married to another - de Koenig? - said her husbands studio contained his easel and paints, while hers contained the washer, the dryer, and a playpen...
You may not have to be selfish, but it does take a robust ego! a sense of the value of who you are and what you are doing...
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Norma that is so true...I'll have much pleasure passing this insight onto other women.
NLTSculptor's avatar
NLTSculptor's avatar
May I ask how large this work is? It certainly says what you were trying to get across!
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thank you's dimensions are h.65cm x w.40cm.
Samuel-Hardidge's avatar
Oh this is divine. I adore the sense of flow and movement found in your work. And the colouring and highlights of this piece are just so soft and serene :)
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thank you again Samuel for your kind comment. When I create a Tara I try to recreate a sense of 'the feminine' in a contemporary guise. If she looks 'soft and serene' and gives the impression that escape from the hustle of our lives is possible...then I'm glad.
Figit090's avatar
lovely piece! beautiful technique, I love the metallic yet soft texture you achieved
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thank you Andrew...Finishing a work is always difficult for I 'm really pleased you like the technique.
.....and good luck with the camera. Last year I purchased one and I agree they're so good to work with. I set myself the task to capture images of those things that I really love looking at during each day. The lights, the textures etc that I believe make up my environment. It's good to see what then influences your aesthetics. You might consider something like this...I notice your interest in portraiture. I imagine photographing a wedding would be extremely stressful.
Figit090's avatar
You're welcome! I know what you mean, I have some drawings I never finished that I really need to..
Thanks for the kind words! I'm having a lot of fun with it so far, and I've taken thousands of pictures learning the ins-and-outs of it. That sounds like a great thought process to use when photographing. I tend to like bright colors, and I do like shooting textures and things, one day I photographed an oil slick on pavement, it had a beautiful array of color, and the pavement added a great reptilian texture to it. I'll post that image soon if I remember.

The wedding was stressful, but it was a great experience.

Sorry for the late reply, I tend to want to leave time to make a good response and end up forgetting to or never having a moment to do so (or so it feels).
metoikos's avatar
such a stunning execution of a subtle concept :)

I'm a huge fan of Rodin (I've been fortunate enough to see some of his figure studies up close) and your work reminds me of his in the sense that there is a sense of dynamic realistic motion/tension in the figures. I'm sure these images can't do your work justice, experiencing them in three dimensions must be magical
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thank you metoikos. You are very kind and I appreciate your informed comment and appreciation of my referencing. I too admire Rodin's work and the lesson I feel I must learn from him, is to stop before I overwork the figure. There is always a point where the form is very 'fresh'.....and I know it should be left. Do you find the same challenge with photography?
metoikos's avatar
You're welcome. *sigh* I would love to have a conversation with Rodin to hear how he determined when a piece was finished. What I do know is that he was prolific, constantly busy with several pieces, even if some of them were tiny. Haha, perhaps he felt rushed to get everything done and so avoided the temptation to overwork a piece?

I'm assuming in sculpture you feel the same amount of expectation from contemporary culture that modern photographers feel, namely to be hyper-realistic. Knowing when to stop is a huge challenge in the contemporary context. Photography (well, mine in any case) is much more contrived (it arises from pre-existing components) than sculpture (which arises from formless clay/material)...for me the challenge is to capture a form that is 'fresh' (to use your phrase) and does not appear to be merely a contrived arrangement of existing elements. It is often a fleeting moment, and if you fail to capture it properly, it cannot easily be reconstructed without appearing contrived. Ironically super-contrived photography is highly popular at the moment, but it does not feel like art to me... every detail is there in razor-sharp resolution and saturated colour, but it usually lacks emotion/heart.

Which brings me back to your sculptures - there's heart in your work, I look at the pieces and they stir things in me: that's the definition of art.
JulieSwanSculpture's avatar
Thank you again metoikos. (forgive my late reply) It's so good to hear your thoughts about contrived versus spontaneous. I agree with you. I think that many contemporary art forms give the impression that the artist has to stand back and engineer a distance from the moment. Almost as if we have lost confidence in our 'right' to express emotion. As if we are either too shy or so clever that we need a tower or wall of protection....a place of observation rather than a place of sincerity.
Yes the super-contrived can be a cold approach.
The super- contrived has of course aspects of surrealism to it....and that is wonderful! But I also think that we are young in our use of new technologies. We are often over-whelmed by choice and need to learn that less is often best. Do you think that once we as artists can relax with all of the new 'tricks' of advancing technology, perhaps more warmth will return.....?

Analysis versus expression is a worry. I sincerely hope that our world does not continue to allow for too much of this separation.
In your case I would like to imagine that your camera would become an extension of yourself. A tool that you know so well that it instantly reflects your true human vision.
......and there lies the challenge! For me to stop before the energy is overworked and over thought and for you to capture the moment.
I believe that we all have a muse or 'quiet whisperer' that can allow for special insight...our ego's unfortunately often need to control every situation and then sadly a soul quality is lost.
Artsee1's avatar
Wow, the movement and beauty you caught in this is amazing!! Great work. A WELL DESERVED DD :)
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