My fascination with sculpture and my desire to pursue a career in art was initially instigated by witnessing the construction and display of large scale sculptures destined for Burning Man, while living in Reno. These pieces require a team of people cooperating toward a shared goal—a goal of sharing their art. Since being enrolled in sculpture classes at UNC Asheville, I feel that I have finally found the materials and tools I am comfortable using. This has opened new avenues of independence in my art, but I will always acknowledge the roll others play in every step of its creation.
Working with natural materials—fiber rope, kudzu, bamboo, wood—mostly collected by my own hands has opened new avenues for my creativity. Since I began utilizing the things growing in the world around, I have begun to see more possibilities in that which is man-made and discarded. As such, I have started to use discarded and found objects, to add to my repertoire of materials. The cloth and ribbon I have sourced (saving many things from the landfill) and integrated into my art are able to live a new life, a life as a work of art.
Luckily, one of my strengths is in collecting people to work towards a common goal, whether it be a group project, or all helping another on an individual project. I volunteer in background and leadership roles for several varied events and have experience in curating shows, parties, exhibits, and other social events. Outside of UNC Asheville, I run a skill-share group, where we host arts, writing, psychology, defense, and other classes, as well as community building activities. The environment of creativity with which I have succeeded in surrounding myself is constantly a source of inspiration and assistance.
As an artist, I will continue to operate with the words of a popular idiom, with no clear origin, constantly in the back of my mind— “Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum.” Unless an artist is collecting their own gum arabic, sawing down all their own trees, making nails, rope and glues, or tempering their own steel, there have been other people involved in the process. We are surrounded by nature and man-made inspiration every day. As artists, we must acknowledge that the creation is not entirely of ourselves.
Tedder, April 2018