The Drawers - Gord Smith   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Beauty & Obsession

Shape-shifting, changing the shape, extrapolating or creating a new shape from an already existing shape and, in doing so, regenerating life. It is the essence of procreation. It is the quest for perfection and the furthering of existence. It takes place every time an artist begins to work, but it takes place literally in the dowel sculptures of Gord Smith.

The extension is multi-fold. There is the basic transformation of the shape of the cylinder into the new shape by virtue of abandoning the cylinder as a singular entity and forcing it to be a module in a new order. There is the loss of one-ness as the cylindrical shape becomes just another small component in the make-up of a new whole. There is a philosophical connotation in this concept, in the idea of a single unit that becomes far more than itself only when it joins forces with other units similar to itself. It is a microcosmic importance that supersedes to the macrocosmic dynamic. There is even the simple concept of harmony and the realization that by yielding specific identity - the 'ego' of the object, it's sense of individuality - an expanded harmony results.

This is the essence of the creation of beauty and it circles around the concept of art as being that which is beautiful or of more than ordinary significance. The plebeian dowel is raised and becomes regal under the hands of a master. Gord Smith takes this essential geometrical form and aids in its progressive rise in stature. He fashions a new abstract form from a multitude of pure abstract forms. He conceptualizes this new order like a God contemplating the infinite possibilities of variables for newborns. He strokes and encourages the genesis and then he brings the new object up; he nurtures his creation, adding cell upon cell until it stands before him, proud and yet still rough and unfinished. He senses the fragile areas, the tenuous sensitivities, and he lends strength. He is open with them and lets the light shine through. Then he polishes his creation. He sands off the awkward edges. He rubs and burnishes the young surfaces so that they may reflect the pride of his inspiration.

He places them to be admired, knowing that they will be treasured, for their beauty inspires awe and wonder and worship follows close on the heels of wonder. They have lost much of their need for protective parenting or authorship. The pieces have lost their dowel-ness, their ordinary significance, and become that which is beautiful.

Copyright 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers