I started the ballet series as an official resolve to master the craft of glass casting.
Peristence II is the second of the series, depicting the blood, sweat and tears of creating something. It was inspired by an ad from the Royal Ballet which showed how each year 12,000 pairs of ballet shoes are worn, some lasting the duration of a single performance and then cast away. I saw parallels between the process of mold making/glass casting and the practice of ballet; I immediately understood a poignant lesson; Mastery and beauty isn't something you can achieve without time and persistence and endless trials. So I've started this project to document my determination in learning and my progress through persistence and maybe one day I'll make a glass slipper perfect enough to end this series.
Most recent piece Persistence VII created in 2018 with Blackwood Crystals shown at Summer Sojourn.
Persistence features a series of glass ballet shoes on pointe with blood trickling up the sides as an exploration of persistent strength of character. I’ve always seen ballet dancers as warriors, which I guess could be strange to think about at first but it’s more to do with their stoic attitude to physical pain and their transformation of the mental limits into seemingly effortless grace. It’s also about the unseen struggle of the dancer who keeps silent about her pain to the audience. Ballet for me is an intensely feminine but powerful type of art, it shows the mettle of feminine endurance.
Can you tell us a time about when you’ve had to endure great strength in your life, and is this something that’s come up for you throughout these works?
Maybe it’s a bit morbid of me to say this, but I’ve always held a very war-like view when it comes to art, which is probably why Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art resonated so deeply with me. I’ve always felt like I’ve had to fight everything including outside economical and social influence and even resistance within myself to get any work done.
There’s also a particular brand of despair when you’re just beginning out experimenting with your technique and it fails in a spectacular and expensive way. And after that there is the fear of putting your work out there for people to judge, because what you’ve created is an embodiment of everything that is personal and everything you’ve worked for. It’s being evaluated and you feel vulnerable.
“There’s also a particular brand of despair when you’re just beginning out experimenting with your technique and it fails in a spectacular and expensive way.”
— Interview with udee.
For me, Persistence has taught me how to get through each of these steps over and over again. Whether it is panicking alone in the middle of the night in front an aftermath of a kiln disaster, or grinding through the process and polishing my work up to a semblance of what was envisioned.