Drawing In Breath Art Exhibition
EM: How do you see Drawing in Breath as part of your series of exhibitions which began with Breathing Space ?
ND: Breathing Space (the first exhibition in the series in 2006) explored “the preparatory void”, or the idea of us being here. This exhibition Drawing in Breath is a pause before Inhale, like the transitory interlude of breath descending. The second exhibition in the trilogy will be Inhale which is receiving the divine gift of breath. The third will be Exhale which is a returning of the divine gift of breath.
EM: In Breathing Space you used a transparent medium, resin, to express breath, but for this exhibition you are using solid forms. Why did you choose this material?
ND: I intended the works to be white from the beginning. Opaque. I wanted the sculptures to disappear into the exhibition space. They are small intimate sculptures and I wanted you to experience them up close. I love bronze, so I explored the making of white bronze. Not easy to achieve and the research took me from sculptors that I knew to chemists that I didn’t know. The mystery of achieving this was in itself a driving force.
EM: There are often connected pairs in this exhibition – how do you see this relationship?
ND: Symbiosis was the first work created for the Drawing in Breath exhibition. It was originally a single work and then as I formed the second sculpture it came about that these works went together. Life is about polarity: in this life there are opposites but they are not always absolute opposites. That is that they do not perfectly sit together, however you can feel that they belong together.
Another two-part work is Breath of Sisyphus which draws on the idea of the wind as the earth’s breath. The elements in this work develop from sails that might capture this wind.
Vow to breathe, is a promise we make to life: to breathe is to create. If you are breathing you are creating. In this work a hand became the symbol for the creative life force.
EM: The way in which your art is expressed is very much part of the lifestyle that you have.
ND: We all contemplate life. I allowed my work to do the same. So I cannot separate what I am feeling with what I am doing.
EM: Do you create different works one after the other, or do you work on different sculptures at the same time?
ND: I work concurrently and intuitively. I created the first work which was Symbiosis and then four more works came very quickly after that. None of these works were in pairs, but a relationship built up over time and led to works such as Breathing for two .
EM: A ‘female’ energy has been a recurring theme in this Breathing Space series – is this an intentional focus or does it come more naturally?
ND: My first exhibition had very angular works and many of the works had a uni-sex appearance and perhaps it was a more ‘masculine’ exhibition, though all the models were female. This exhibition holds a much more feminine energy . When the heart opens I think of that as female energy. I have been doing a lot of self-searching and allowing myself to experience from the heart. By being more compassionate not only to others, but also myself, I have allowed the other place of knowing, the heart, to talk and I simply listen.