Tools of Unknown Use and Other Works

Looking above, the sky is shifting and birds are soaring large owning a independence that individuals yearn for. looking below, fragments of earth are peeking by utilizing the cracks within your difficult cement. looking ahead, strong trees are eclipsed by man’s towering structures; and, looking even additional there may be the vastness using the landscape we inhabit. Frequently, views of our Earth and our romantic relationship with it occupy Gordon Senior’s mind. His hold out is embedded with metaphors and myths of nature. Reflecting on humanity’s anthropocentric romantic relationship using the earth, Gordon Senior ordinarily conceptualizes the cycles, the fragility, the durability along using the wonder within of our organic and natural world. these times however, his naturalist sensibilities and artistic intent have been completely disrupted and influenced with the tradition shock of his current proceed to America.

Gordon Senior grew up Yorkshire, England.  His desire to become an artist came about when he was involved in a serious accident as a young boy.  During the year of recovery, his main source of release was through painting and art.   From that point on he wanted to go an art school.   Senior studied art at Leeds College of Art and Wakefield College of Art in England.  He attended Leeds College at a time when Harry Thubron, an instructor there, was creating a dynamic change in the way art was taught.  Thubron and his colleagues created the first design class at the college, emphasizing a more methodical, analytical way of creating art.  Thubron is also credited with bringing Bauhaus ideas of craft and assembly into Leeds.  Thubron became a great inspiration to Senior, instructing him to trust his own sensibilities – the way one does things – and to not be afraid to take risks when creating art.  Since then Senior has been able to pass those valuable lessons onto his students.  Besides his artistic career, he was a Professor of Art at Norwich School of Art and Design in the UK. He came to America five years ago to teach at California State University Stanislaus, where he is currently a professor and Chair of the Art Department.

Senior’s immediate environment is the source of his inspiration as well as the source of materials in his work.  More often than not, Senior uses found objects from his surroundings. He prefers to collect rather than buy traditional sculptural materials because he likes to capitalize on the materials and equipment around him.  This is why he chose to only bring two small artworks with him when he moved from England to America.  He wanted to “see how the move would change the way he thought and made things”.

Hare Fleet is a piece that was inspired by his journey to this new world.  Hundreds of fragile tiny hares, made from fired earth, lined up in a boat, gaze ahead not knowing what their future will bring.  It’s a scene reminiscent of early European settlers and African slaves when they first arrived on this continent.  Senior chose the brown hare, a wild animal native to Europe, to embark on this mission. The brown hare, known for its mystery and seclusion, shown in numbers, reflects the complexity of the human consciousness.  The hares can perhaps be interpreted as an extension of Senior himself, a native of Europe, setting off on an adventure into lands unknown; and, even though Senior chose to leave much behind, he is also taking a lot with him.

In his recent follow-up piece, Odyssey, Senior continues to incorporate the hare and the boat metaphor.  But this time, Senior uses sycamore for the boat—a tree that lines the street he lives on here in America.  And this time, the hares are strong, cast in iron, and they are carrying a boat filled with soil.  Could it be that Senior has found his place and direction here in America? Senior’s move has allowed him to see America through an outsider’s eye while reflecting on his hometown from a distance. To his surprise, Senior found being away from England made his native culture much clearer.  His move to America brought into focus what would have otherwise been accepted and unexamined, had he stayed in England.  His sentimental view of his country and the culture shock he experienced in moving to America are reflected in his works: Journey, Hand Tools and Towers.

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