I have lived as shadow-
Slipping in and out of existences, Learning the art of stillness. Silence becomes translucent
My poem declares my central awareness: animate becomes inanimate, inanimate becomes animate—body becomes object, object becomes body—as I create representations of my physical space. A shadow, a trace, is retained. It is my body, but it is not.
By weaving together memories, myths, and facts, I hope to provoke a subtly skewed awareness of the ordinary, and to deepen an understanding of physical and psychological relationships to place.
Recently working in multiples, I frequently use clay and found materials, and am drawn to their histories. Shift (or Verkja, Old Norse for ‘work’), for example, explores the ability to hold onto the (still useful) old and worn, while finding ways to turn them into something new- building from the ashes, in a sense. We yearn to measure the intangibles of experience. In Recall(ed) Quilt, I consider how memories and emotions might translate into physical objects—the bone-like porcelain squeezed in my hands a physical demonstration of how we hold on to each other, the ways we remember. Individual pieces reference individual experiences. When put together, they become a powerful human collective.
Cardu Mountain Walkers, and Fitting In (Walkabout) also use common materials (plaster, tape, newspaper, and cardboard) to explore physical and psychological landscapes. They investigate the absurd and serious business of trying to fit in.
The process and performance works often interpret the impact of social events and frequently rely on audience participation. For instance, Holding My Breath was built solely by passersby. Employing fence posts and artificial grass, Wherever You Go, There You Are recalled the adage “good fences make good neighbors” and became a shifting contemplation on relationships as gallery goers push the castered posts around. In a similar manner, a much larger Shift was built in collaboration with viewers throughout the exhibition’s duration and included a time-lapse video of the changing sculpture. This physical participation engages a deeper response and a broader understanding of the materials, spaces, and relationships encountered.
Through performance, sculpture, ceramics, and text, I explore the distance between physical and psychological space. I interpret the impact of social events and their dynamics by delineating presence, absence, action, and reaction. These processes mark a passage in time and place; through them I construct an identity and awareness of the present.
— Naomi Falk