Rejoicing in the renewal of springtime, I am always enthralled with the tenacity and resilience of the natural world. Tender green leaves unfurling from the bare twisted boughs of chestnut and lime trees, spiky branches miraculously sprouting from the arthritic knuckles of pollarded sycamores, exuberant tulips blooming on magnolias, the brilliant yellow blossoms of forsythia and daffodils splashing their vivid hues onto the spectacle of spring—all reminding us of the never-ending cycle of life occurring right before our eyes, whose mysterious inner workings nurture our minds, souls, bodies. The wonder of this vast world sparks the imagination, our interconnectedness with it all offering a limitless source of inspiration for my conjectural practice. Ever-changing form emerges from indeterminate matter, the earth itself providing the material for the hands to caress and model, fingers probing, kneading, pushing, and pulling the malleable clay medium, breathing another life into it. Even the seemingly static bronze iterations are constantly registering shifting light and atmospheric conditions, and endlessly undergoing transformation as they come into contact with the visual touch of the viewer. Both the creative process and the ensuing viewer experience position the sculpture at a relational nexus in which the self exists as a dynamic synthesis of body and soul.
Circling back to my earlier columns, I’d like to revisit my three ongoing series, a sort of trilogy, which interweave to constitute the main thread running through my current practice. To begin with, the “Fluidity of Being” explores the enigmatic spaces of origin and destiny, the flux pervading every aspect of our universe, part and parcel of impermanence and indeterminacy. In the sculpture She that Spreads the Winds, a lithe female figure alights momentarily, bending forward to grasp her foot. Suspended like a firefly—the gold patina of the sculpture heightening the association with its illuminated crisscrossing trajectory— the looping lines of this flight pattern evoke both the scientific models of atomic particles in perpetual motion and the doodled tangles of surrealist automatic drawing techniques. This ethereal performer participates in a kind of cosmic dance, simultaneously buoyed by and parting the air streams that envelop and uplift her. Free like the wind, she embodies levity, vital energy, and limitlessness.
Whereas She that Spreads the Winds inhabits a celestial realm and materializes the fleeting dimension of flowing into being, the coarsely modeled sculpture Terrified!, from the series “Fractured Reality,” is mired in a morass of fear, sucked into a terrestrial pit of paralysis. The rough formless figure suggests both a visage, disfigured by emotional affliction, and a maimed body, withered and wallowing in the mud of inner torment. From a frontal angle, two gaping holes in place of eyes, reminiscent of the cavities in a skull, cast a blind stare alongside a smashed nose protruding above the prison cell of a mangled mouth with monstrous fangs frozen aghast in an expression of existential horror. From the back, an amorphous blob of primal matter teeters precariously on two stumpy legs, a sort of stunted humanoid engulfed in the miasma of its own troubled state of mind—the impediment to reaching a space of infinite potential.
My series “Finding Ways” addresses the removal of the emotional obstacles that prevent us from realizing our true selves. In the sculpture The Horticulturist, the fragments of being torn asunder in the sculptures of “Fractured Reality” begin to coalesce. Unlike the disintegration at work in Terrified!, the gardener has shed his fears to embrace the growth that he engenders. While his contorted facial features reveal the harrowing ordeals that might have blocked his path, the character is tending to the seeds of change that will bear the fruit of inner peace and serenity. Though lopsided and mismatched, the asymmetrical size and placement of his eyes convey conviction and intent as if he were gaining greater vision after his trials and tribulations to finally recognize the right direction leading to infinity. No longer afraid of encountering ambiguity and contradiction along the way, he embarks on a course of purposeful wandering through space and time. The Horticulturist seems to merge with the plant life he is nurturing, their rootedness ensuring a common endeavor to rise up toward the warmth and light of the life-generating sun. The hybrid form, in which face and body, along with their associative mental and physical states of spirit and matter, intertwine with the vegetal curves, leaves and blossoms of renewal and metamorphosis. Striving upward toward the spiritual essence permeating the expansiveness of being, he cultivates a perpetual encounter with the infinite.
Infinity Leads the Way
This triad— “Fluidity of Being,” “Fractured Reality,” and “Finding Ways —forms an interdependent ensemble, a kind of helix of inseparable concerns that animate my work. Approaching sculpture from the perspective of philosophical inquiry, I envision the creative process as an ongoing exploration of the concerns at the core of the human condition—the search for meaning and purpose in an exterior world that often seems alienating and devoid of humanity. Yet it is our own distorted picture of reality that hinders our ability to seek both within and beyond for our infinite essence. Art, whether it be sculpture, poetry or another means of creative expression, offers a more intuitive way of approaching these existential questions. In the final lines of “O sweet spontaneous,” American poet E.E. Cummings observes how the earth, in response to metaphysical queries, answers “them only with spring.” Misleadingly simple, this reply seems to suggest that no matter how much we might objectively know about the world, the true nature of reality can only be found in life itself—the way to infinity.
For more information about Dr Gindi and to inquire about her sculptures go to dr-gindi.com or @gindisculptor.