My art is and has always been concerned with an individual’s search for meaning in the present. This continuous inquiry leads to contemplation of images, forms and stories and that are age-old and timeless. What is enduring of beliefs, values, discoveries, and yearning? … Woman/kind/ Man/kind/Children/kind are words that stand for one and for many: humanity as a whole. I am interested in the human condition, its expressions and connections, which are envisioned in forms of art that reveal emotions, needs, empathy, compassion as well as intellect.
The creative process offers a way of processing and recording forms for communicating the visual search for answers to questions… to the mysteries beyond our knowing and recorded history. It takes its own time… How do we access more and reach beyond ourselves? Why do we feel the urgency to make art? Is it for the common good and/or personal necessity? Imagination fosters symbolization in its own unique language which can resonate in the moment and touch into universal concerns embedded in many mythologies. Other’s stories bring up emotions that surface in a felt sense in the making of new expressions of current concerns.
My work has taken many forms over the years as I look for the materials to express ideas, color and content. Collage gives me a chance and “by chance” a way to combine elements, which often reference art historical sources or grab from every day images and objects to comment on larger concerns from a woman’s point of view - which may not be familiar to many. Also, different cultures and their artifacts have enriched my experience and the forms I make. In my votive boxes possible narratives are contained within a stage-like performance space. Small assembled objects are handmade or selected from nature or my environment and juxtaposed in their own world to reveal a situation that evolves in their making. Female protagonists speak out in their own voices and reveal their dilemmas with a subtle call for social action. Large constructivist steel sculptures blare out their message and more personal bronzes look to nature for sanctity and grace.
It is a rich time to be alive and one that demands all of us, women and men, to respond to beauty as well as the violence around us and take a particular kind of action if our home is to survive. Art and art making can be healing as well as inspirational as it has been valued as such throughout the ages. I believe that we must always encourage dreams to take form, without question; yet not allow cruelty and brutality with intention to destroy hope and resilience. Art is my language …how could I be silent?
Susan Firestone 2020