The Drawers - Kerry Stevens   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Beauty & Obsession

The paper has the slip sheen of wet porcelain clay, a slightly opalescent gray. The brushed linear, flowing elements traverse the outer borders of the paper, every now and then curving or crossing over each. The central space is empty. And yet from the titles (all are titled “Torso”) the central space is where the meat of the matter usually physically resides - the corporeal body, the torso. Kerry Stevens presents a conceptual composition, placing the depiction of a person, not center stage, but as a silhouette, yet not with the light from behind so that the body blocks and becomes a form, but as if only the shimmering line that enhances a body that is back lit as if only this line of light has been recorded and not once, but several times as in a long exposure photograph of a moving body. Aura paintings and spirit photographs inhabit the same plane. There is also the suggestion of veins and body fluids in the viscous, milky lines.

The sculptural torsos, easily cupped in the palm, have an undisguised clay-ness and brings about biblical associations. The brushed patina on the gray clay form is an earth clay color. The size brings to mind creation stories for the figure in its diminutive dimension suggests God-like size in the creator. Kerry Stevens' hand has squeezed, molded, pinched and smoothed the torso, pressed a nipple. She twisted the clay so that one torso appears to be moving as it is cradled for examination in the hand. Fingers are seduced to caress and wander the delicate curves of this minute, flesh-like form. The wonder at the perfection of the small torso is a very similar response to that inspired by handling a new born.

The relationship between the paper works and the sculptures is strong as if they are a part of the same family. Their coloring supports the affiliation as well as the sensual disposition of the bodily forms as if they are part of a race that dances in acknowledgement of their creator.

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers