ASOLAS, under contruction
sketch for Reading.jpg
Reading: first in the Asolas series

Asolas: work-in-progress about quarantine

    In early June, I began a new sculpture series with the working title, “Quarantine”. The title came from a painting that I worked on during March 2020. It pictures a figure with a cat, representing my experience of adjusting to strict isolation. That painting helped me survive the frustration and worry of those first months. I planned the sculpture with the same iconography, a lone figure and a cat, and kept the same title.

    But at this point I noticed a tremendous number of other artists responding to the coronavirus with works entitled “Quarantine”. This was both funny and predictable. It pushed me to consider what personal aspects I wanted to address, with my series of five sculptures, and proved a fruitful investigation.

     I chose to call the series “Asolas", meaning alone.  As always, I started by looking at etymology. Asolas means alone, especially in the sense of undertaking a journey, task or adventure. I read that in archaic Irish (ancient Gaelic) the word solas meant moving toward the light. I also thought about solace, the English homonym for solas.

    These definitions combined carry meaningful ideas and provide inspiration as I work. It's my solitary journey toward the light.

Top left: work in progress for Reading, the first in the Asolas series. Lifesize terracotta

Top right: partly assembled

Left below: beginning table assembly

Right below: wet clay work in progress

Preliminary sketches for Asolas: Reading:

Seated figure with book, cat, coffee, and flowers

Detail of sleeping cat with book

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Sketch for Reading, first in the Asolas series