All art by Amanda Wood 

© 2018 by ​Amanda Wood. All rights reserved.

Artist's Statement

There is quite a rich tapestry of raw emotions, secret aspirations, desires, aversions, conflicts and soulful connections hidden within all of us. We don’t always allow those elements within to be seen, even by those closest to us. But it’s those hidden intimate details, passions and ideas that ultimately define who we are as individuals.

 

Because my work is narrative, I like to
examine and capture the less obvious aspects
of the people in my life as I work to find ways
of expressing those sometimes more

abstract traits.

 

Using classical allegory with loose references to Renaissance painting and sculpture, I blend etherial, dream-like qualities and archetypal symbols to communicate and layer a sometimes haunting, yet simple message floating in a realm of austerity and truth. My respect for the great masters of sculpture and painting come through, with a contemporary, narrative and ultimately
surreal edge.

 

Sculpting in a white, low to mid-range fired clay body gives me a lot of freedom to experiment with the forms and figures I work with. My pieces are coil and slab built. The smaller details are typically pinched, carved and applied. After completing the form, many layers of slip, underglaze washes and thin glazes are applied to the surface and fired multiple times in between to achieve various effects. Occasionally, if the piece calls for it, I will
apply cold cast bronze and copper finishes,
then follow with cold cast patinas, waxes
and varnishes.

 

Many of my pieces are fitted with a light kit on the inside. It's important for me to 1. Have the pieces visible in multiple lighting conditions. 2. Be able to change the mood of the piece depending on the visibility of the interior light. And 3. Communicate a sense of spiritual presence and light, a universal context for life and energy.

My Story

As far back as I can remember, I was passionate about drawing, coloring, painting and sculpting in clay. Any free time I could find was happily occupied with one creative activity or another. Fortunately, my family was quite supportive and encouraged me to explore my creative side. This, combined with a worldly upbringing, has shaped who I am today.

 

Though born in the US, I've spent most of my formative years living over seas with my parents, absorbing art and culture from the Tropics, the Middle and Far East. This unique opportunity allowed me to absorb art and culture from around the globe. Constant exposure to a wide range of religions, cultures and traditions has been an enriching foundation for me as an artist, influencing my creative work quite heavily.

 

Returning to the US in the mid 1980's, and settling in Texas, has added another layer to my creative style, with rich culture unique to Texas. I truly felt at home here and was quite interested in staying. Upon receiving my Bachelor's degree in Fine Art/Communication Design from the University of North Texas in 1995, I began a career as a graphic designer, which spanned many years in the Dallas area.

 

Several years into becoming a graphic designer, I still yearned to paint, work with clay and other sculpting materials. I wanted to create permanent artwork more likely capture the changes life brings us -- yet freeze snapshots in time, highlighting those pinnacle moments in our lives. This meant I needed to say something about the world we live in and create a more meaningful dialogue with the viewer. Following the birth of my second child, I embarked on a soul seeking journey,  which resulted in the reassessing of all of my views on life, work, family and spiritual beliefs. Once I had connected with myself during this journey, I knew I needed to let go of my current self and evolve into the artist that I have become thus far.

 

 

The results of my time in self exploration are visible in my work: human emotions, manifestations of spirituality, motherhood, relationships, fear, defensiveness, self love, irreverence, conquering fear and letting go. There is also a deep appreciation for ancient wisdom and archetypal symbols that transcend generations and cultures.

 

Currently, I live in Austin, Texas with my husband, two daughters and two active Weimaraners. Austin’s casual attitude, accepting environment and beautiful hill country have all been key in my self development as an artist. The local community of clay artists and sculptors continues to be a positive, supportive and strong community. It has been a wonderful avenue for meeting great artists that have nurtured me
over time.

 

 

 

On a personal note:

 

I have been so very fortunate to have loving parents that encouraged me with my art early on. Also, I'm blessed with a loving husband who supports my endeavors, no matter how unconventional they may be. I thank my parents, and thank my kind husband for all they do to allow me to fulfill my deepest dreams and pursue my creative efforts. I'd also like to thank my children for changing my perspective on the world and deepening my appreciation for all things free, natural and beautiful. For seeing the world through their eyes, and explaining life to them inspires me to consider new ideas and concepts every day in my creative process.

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