My notes on Bronze exhibition at Bryant Street Gallery
Inger Nova Jorgensen
April 2019 notes on work:
“Venezia Storybook” (Woman with Dress)
This figure is a story of a city, in this case the city of Venice, Italy. She is the city’s spirit manifest into a visual “book” made primarily by her dress. Venice brings to mind love & romance, art, food, wine, beauty, and all things of pleasure. This figure is a symbol reminding us of the beauty of life and the importance of stillness, being present to our own stories, our history and the qualities that make us human. I developed a unique patina in order to mimic venetian plaster or stone, as I wanted the surface to appear ancient as a symbol of the strength of a city.
Notice: Lions, Horses of St. Mark, etc…
All the windows, doors and other architecture in the skirt are taken directly from my photos of Venice. My husband and I are musicians and we toured as a duet last year (Jeff Pevar & Inger Nova) all through Italy stopping to play in several major cities, and Venice was one of the highlights. When I returned home I created this piece. We will return for another tour in September, I hope to be inspired to create more work like this when I return.
I intend to also create monumental story-telling works such as this one for specific cities.
“Acquiesced-Nature" (Woman with nest on head)
This piece refers to our connection (and disconnection) with nature. The figure in this case is becoming nature again, being enveloped by feathers, leaves, petals, & flowers. The textures on her skin also becoming the same. The nest becomes part of her hair and she “acquiesces” to the spirit of nature. The nest serves as the quintessential symbol of home and rests on her head, calling forth the energies of the cosmos (birds representing the cosmos and the spirit world).
"Oar & The Osprey” (Woman holding Oar with Osprey sitting on top)
This sculpture represents strength and feminine power, the ability to move through difficulty with personal power, skill and knowledge (Oar) with assistance from the higher power (Osprey). The skin texture can be interpreted as topography map lines or as wood grain. My intention was for her to appear as if the entire sculpture was a tree, a symbol of purpose femininity and endurance. The appearance of the topography lines evolved as well as I began to see her as not only a tree, but as if she were the earth itself, a symbol of our oneness with all that IS. The roses grounding her to the feminine life force.
"Dream of Time" (Woman lying down with Raven above head)
This figure represents our navigation through linear time. We give so much weight to our human “timeline” without remembering the illusion of time. The Raven represents the dream and how we “create” our lives. The sleeping figure reminds us that we often spend our lives asleep and to wake to Spirit or God (also Raven) may be the ultimate form of human existence.
"Wisdom Beyond Mind"(Owl sitting on head)
The connection between the owl and the figure represents the connection to the inner self, or inner wisdom.
The story of how the owl came to be: The model for this bust stopped my studio after I had finished sculpting her head.
I was already on to creating my recent “Athena” Sculpture where she is holding an owl on her arm. I told my model friend about this next piece I was making, and she became very excited and relayed a story to me that she had just found full Snowy Owl (unfortunately just killed) on the road in Eastern Oregon on the day of the 2018 eclipse. The owl was very large with a wingspan of around 5 feet. My friend put the owl in her car and took it to a Shaman who helped her to respectfully take the owl apart. She was given the wing, and the Shaman gave the rest to a native elder.
I had finished sculpting the figure and had intended to add a winged element but I had not yet had any messages about what this would be. While my friend was telling this story she was very emotional and the way she told it gave me chills. As she was telling me the details of this majestic animal, I saw it sitting on her head. A few minutes later I ran back in to my studio and roughed in the owl on top of her head.
“The Guardian”(The woman with birds on skin-bull on back of head)
This piece is in essence the Guardian of the Earth. She represents the feminine mother earth (Gaia), standing firmly poised with hand outstretched to give messages to all beings. The birds in relief coming in and out of her skin represent lightness and the defying of gravity, the link between heaven and earth, the conscious and the unconscious. The bird is a symbol for the soul or anima as the breadth of the world, or the world soul hidden in matter. The Taurus at the back of the hair represents the earth itself, determination, will, and power with the ring representing marriage to the self or soul. The figure is the protector of all elements of earth. She is a message receiver and giver: messages of protection, nourishment and care for where we live, and a reminder that we are divine caretakers of a fragile existence.
Salt Sand & Sky Blue” (Woman standing with cloth blowing)
This piece is an elemental depiction of spirit and psyche as shown with wind and water. She is manifest from the water, with the wind giving form as such, birthing our inner light and radiating blues and greens as representation of our connection to magic, prophecy, inner knowing or guidance, psyche, and shape shifting.
This is also a depiction of love of the ocean - and it’s power - a symbol for radical change and constant movement, growth and evolution.
The ancient fossil quality of the ocean, with it’s the abysmal regions often untouched, which eventually connect to that if which is just above the surface (wind and shore), give us symbology for all realms of life, inner and outer.
There is a wealth here to draw from in both wind and water– the mysterious, uncharted territories of the psyche to the cradling rhythms that sooth and calm. The power and breadth of these symbols have been present since ancient times, affecting our collective conscious and unconscious. This piece is meant to stir this ancient tide within us.
“Athena"(Woman standing holding owl on arm)
“Athena was the guiding female energy of the Greek pantheon in her role as Sophia or wisdom. She was the teacher of humanity. From her city, western civilization spread to the rest of Europe. She can, therefore, be seen not just as the goddess of Athens, but of the whole western world as well.
Athena is the principle that brings about civilization. Within her are balanced the male and female polarities. She is not only the goddess of war, but also of peace. Her gifts suit the occasion and the needs of the times. She introduced to humanity the plough and the olive, which are looked upon as part of the origins of civilized life. Her wisdom was not only spiritual, it was also immensely practical. Her energy is marked by spirit and intelligence. In Jungian psychology she is seen as the highest manifestation of the anima.”