I work with the simplest of materials – bits of wood, slabs of slate, water drips, wind, leaves, snail shells – and construct them into sculptural forms that allow their inherent sounds to resonate. The resulting soundscapes are as simple or as complex as the human observer chooses to make them. I look for a balance between chance and intention, between stasis and change, to hold and stimulate the attention.
I hope my
work is easy to appreciate sensually, but I also want to raise questions
about the frontier between our experiences of the natural world and of
humanly produced artefacts. What is the difference between a beautiful
leaf and a beautiful melody? When does the regular rhythm of dripping
water transform itself into the beat and cadences of music? I enjoy stepping
back from my sculptures and seeing how people relate to them. I am always
pleased when I see someone lingering with one or two pieces that they
find a personal connection with. I try to imagine the interior story that
he or she is creating but I can never know what it is.
The elemental state of materials. A vague phrase perhaps?
To me the elements are neither the scientific periodic table, nor the earth, air, fire, water quartet. I try to reflect on how I experience the world, and I arrive at a list, which is symbolic rather than comprehensive or rigorous. Wood is certainly one of my elements. It is the part of the wider world of plants that I relate most to. Stone is another, represented in my work by slate and ceramic, the physical non-living world that seems timeless. Air and water, life givers, I see as two sides of the same element joining the living world to the non-living. Finally, there is human, representing the whole animal world. Being one of them, I’m hard-wired to think of humans before the other animals.
But I try
to see beyond that too. It is surely one of the gifts of self-consciousness
that our capacity for intense introspection and analysis of the human
condition can eventually lead to an understanding that we are not superior
to other life forms? Not being a philosopher, I take this question no
further. But that’s how I see my work, making an exploration of
these elements that I’ve just mentioned - wood, stone, air, water
and then, reflexively, humanity.
Always there is music.
Always there is noise too.
Always there are objects with physical forms. Made objects and found objects.
Always there is a human body.
there is a body that just listens, receives with all the senses,
Always there is thought and reflection.
Always all these elements interact with each other and create experiences.
Always these experiences are part of life.
Will Menter, 2010