Oh hello there. It's been a while, no? My apologies. I've just been so busy with...EVERYTHING. Truly the last year and a half of my life has been INSANE. I've had multiple major life changes occur, some good, some not so good. I've opened up a small business while raising a 3 year old. I've lost and gained perspective on things. I've realized very important things about myself and others, only to forget them periodically and have to continually remember to remember them...(confusing, I know!) And the most important thing that I keep remembering and forgetting and remembering again is that I am, in fact, a human. Just like anyone else. I try not be too hard on myself for mistakes I've made or people I've inadvertently hurt, but part of my character is that I am a harsh critic when it comes to being me. It's good in some ways...but I've realized lately that I need to take a step back and be easy on myself. I need to re-prioritize my life and certain things fit in (raising my daughter, making art, running a business, taking care of myself) and other things don't (worrying about EVERYTHING, countless hours spent on social media, and other time sucks that I can't remember at the moment.) SO I'm starting here, because in truth I do enjoy having an outlet to say what I'm thinking about or show what I'm up to. And I'm saying goodbye to other things...like twitter (I don't even understand Twitter...why was I on there?!), like Facebook (this one is slightly anxiety inducing as I do enjoy connections with people....but I'd rather spend the time making actual connections with people...like writing letters, or meeting for coffee instead of having a false sense of connection), and last but not least my beloved Instagram...The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym will still have these things for the sake of promoting the business, but running two of everything is a lot to keep up with. So if you'd like to catch up, or see what I'm up to, call me, text me, email me, write me a letter (I LOVE GETTING MAIL!) or check out this blog... I think scaling back will give me more time to focus on what I love, like O'Rae, making art and building the Sculpture Gym. Thanks so much to everyone for the support you've shown me, over the last year and a half especially. I cannot put into words my appreciation.
All my love. Darla
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by
filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has
suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
I saw the above quote tonight and it stuck with me...I feel like everything I hear and see lately has been informing this new body of work...that I'm seeing everything for a reason. Usually when starting projects things get sorted out as I work on the piece but this time everything is unfolding really quickly so I feel compelled to start the work as soon as possible, despite being busier than ever. This idea of "aggrandizing damage" really strikes me, because when making art I feel like thats what we are doing anyway, aggrandizing our emotions. Or atleast what I'm doing. I'm wondering how this will all play out...my goal is to do EVERYTHING myself....build all the armatures alone, make the pieces, make the molds alone (including one of an 8 foot tall grizzly), cast alone...Usually I have help from Justin or fabulous interns but this time it's been in my head that in order to be fully successful, I need to do it all myself...
I am simultaneously so happy and so frustrated...Happy because I am sculpting, frustrated because of life and its ups, downs, and curveballs...I've had a piece in my head for a while now and it seems fitting to have started working on it... Above is a study for Coup de grâce, a soon to be piece...
The expression coup de grâce (/ˌkuːdəˈɡrɑːs/; French: [ku də ɡʁɑs], "blow of mercy") means a death
blow intended to end the suffering of a wounded creature. The phrase
can refer to the killing of civilians or soldiers, friends or enemies,
with or without the consent of the sufferer. It is often used
figuratively to describe the last in a series of events which brings
about the end of some entity; for example: "The business had been
failing for years; the coup de grâce was the sudden jump in oil prices."
In the context of an execution, it means shooting the heart or head (typically the back of the skull) of an already wounded, but not yet dead, person during a military or civilian execution. It can also refer to the near beheading that follows a samurai's seppuku.
Last week I sent this piece out to Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, CA for their upcoming show, Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild, which opens this weekend. The show will benefit Born Free USA, a non-profit organization that advocates for the ethical treatment and protection of wild animals. I really struggled with another piece (a bat) that I had started for the show months ago. I just couldn't get it to feel right and went back to research other endangered animals. I found the pygmy rabbit and everything just came together in a cute yet dark little piece (Just how I like it...)
Thinkspace is proud to present “Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the
Wild,” an exhibition to raise awareness about the precarious predicament
of wild creatures around the world, and to benefit efforts to protect
them in their natural habitat. Featuring a stellar cast of more than 100
artists from all corners of the art world, this exhibition brings
together some of the most profound and innovative voices making art
today. In recognition of the imperiled state of much of the world’s
wildlife, each artist will apply their own unique perspective to our
relationship with the fascinating creatures with whom we share our
As the natural world becomes increasingly impacted by shifting
climate, human greed and diminishing resources, protecting those
creatures that still roam free becomes ever more vital to the soul of
humanity. For even if we could continue to exist without wildlife, the
spirit-crushing sadness that our species would take upon itself would
surely rob all joy from life. Those majestic, miraculous, elemental
beings which we admire from afar are at the root of who we are as people
— from the woodland protagonists of our childhood storybooks, to the
metaphors we use to describe ourselves as adults, to the animal spirits
that visit us in our dreams. As we take steps to protect them from those
who would rob them of their freedom, we also improve our own species’
chances to persist far into the future, both by preserving the natural
world we all share, and by cherishing the sacred genesis of our
imagination and symbology.
In appreciation of the magnificent creatures with whom we share the
planet, Thinkspace will donate 20% of the sale price of each piece of
art to Born Free USA and the Animal Protection Institute, which operate
jointly as a non-profit organization that advocates worldwide for the
ethical treatment and protection of wild animals, and also maintains a
large sanctuary for rescued primates. To honor the animals closest to
our hearts, the gallery will be accepting donations of old blankets to
donate to area shelters so dogs don’t have to sleep on cold hard
concrete, as well as other used and new pet supplies. The opening will
feature the release of a gorgeous limited edition screenprinted poster
especially created for the exhibition by the incomparable Aaron Horkey.
We hope you will join us on May 26th to celebrate and defend the wild
things that fill our lives with wonder and mystery.