Places of Contemplation

The work showing at the Museum Humanum this August as part of the 2013 Kulturbrücke is about the human experience, spirituality and the subconscious. Throughout time and across cultures humans have felt the need to create religions, spiritual practices, and art to express their subjective and intuitive experiences. For the Musuem Humanum I am exhibiting work that incorporates the archetypal female form with artifact and cave imagery.

Glimmer Glass Art

Artifacts have a life of their own that span many human lifetimes. They can often be the only windows we have into another person’s life and how they understood the world. Can we really identify with a prehistoric person? They may have the very same basic desires for food, shelter, and clothing, and perhaps even self-expression, but their worldview would be so different. Can we ever view their possessions with the same understanding they did? They who may have made it and viewed it as a vital part of their life and survival, and us who hold it up high and revere it as valuable art?

Moving from the objects that people leave behind, to their stories and myths, we find caves playing a mythical role in society. Caves are closely tied with female sexuality and its life giving powers, they were considered to be the ‘wombs’ of ‘Mother Earth’. Mayans believed caves to be sacred, a place where the gods could move between worlds. In my work I use caves as a metaphor for the subconscious, and spiritual dimensions of human existence. With the shift to a secular society, science has replaced mysticism and has renamed the realm of the gods ‘the subconscious’. Spirituality, psychoanalysis, and art are all human endeavors to explore this hidden aspect of our nature.

Using the archetypal female form and its close associations with caves this exhibition explores a common and deep-seated intuitive attraction to these forms and the mysteries they present.

“The Year of the Woman” opens on August 24th, 2013 at 3pm, at the Museum Humanum, Fratres, Austria. Please email criss@crisschaney.com for more information if you would like to attend.

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Bronze Sculpture Elements Just Arrived

I’m working on a new sculpture based on still pools and stalactites in caves. In it I’m combining cast bronze and glass. I’ve been working on this piece since March and the bronzes have finally come back to me today. I don’t want to give too much away, the piece is nearly done. I just need to cast the glass element that is suspended between to two bronze pieces.

Bronze for Still Pool, landscape Bronze for Still Pool

Some things that inspire my work

Caver staring into still pool in Lechuguilla

I just thought I’d share with you some images and things that I find beautiful and interesting. My interest and fascination with caves began when I saw the Planet Earth episode about caves, a few things really struck me as intriguing, the first was Lechuguilla, it was the remarkably still pools that really caught my eye. It was like looking into an alternate dimension, a perfectly crystal clear window into another world. Perhaps that is one of the reasons they had such spiritual significance for ancient cultures.

Still pool in Lechuguilla