Beth Cavener Stichter’s work touches the heart and the mind. There’s an undeniable intelligence to her work, in the way she marries the title to the subject. This marriage of mediums, soft clay and hard words, is as perfect and painstaking as the process. Working with 800 to 2,000 pounds of clay requires tremendous physical effort. “I use,” she says, “my whole body: striking it with chunks of wood, digging into the surface with the palms of my hands and my nails, carving away 20 pound pieces with wire, and slamming it back onto the surface. This massing in has to be done quickly, and it wears me out.” In the end, her creatures exhibit a loving touch, and that’s what speaks to us. We long to stroke the surface, to feel what she feels, to dig deep to the heart of the matter. “On the surface,” says Stichter, “these figures are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding”. She sculpts the human condition in animal form and it is glorious.
(Watch this YouTube video for some insights into Beth Cavener Stichter’s world)
Beth Cavener Stichter Gallery
Beth Cavener Stichter [link]
By Katherine Dewey