Leigh Craven

In my work I explore the use of both traditional and surreal elements to express conflict often found between the inner and outer realms of experience. The artwork examines how both physical and emotional factors can consume the body and mind. For me the combinations and/or confrontations of the human form accompanied with elements from nature symbolize the psychological conflicts we might have when circumstances are beyond our control. In my mind, nature, storms, and swarms of insects or animals are physical representations of forces that we can not contain or control, these forces often times have dramatic impact on our lives. Each piece has been created to embody specific ideas, such as consumption and devastation, or apprehension and grief.

In my most recent work I utilize underglaze to paint or draw aspects of nature onto the human form. The drawing affects a viewer’s optical perception of three-dimensional form by visually flattening out aspects of the shape and creating illusions of depth where they don’t physically exist. The optical alteration that swallows the physicality of the object metaphorically represents how things have the ability to consume us.

The figures in these works are still, they are enveloped by the elements of nature, such that in many ways the imagery is visually more powerful than the sculpted object. Their passiveness is intended to be seen as an acceptance of what has overtaken them. An acknowledgment that the inevitable is destined. I want them to be seen as overcome. I recognize that there is a darkness to these pieces, but for me they are also quiet, intimate works. I want the viewer to mediate on the tranquility of the landscape in relationship with the figure.

Photography by Clements Photography & Design