KellyCave Kelly E Cave artist sculpture sculptor metal fiber big public art syracuse cincinnati salem saw iron welding

Artist Statement

My practice contemplates the connections between repetitive art-making processes and meaningfulness in relation to the basic human need to find purpose–lodged within both rational ways of thinking and more philosophical concerns of existentialism. Specifically, I want to emphasize the potential of repetition or seemingly mundane acts that allow the mind to disconnect from the body. This metaphysical interruption allows one to encounter elemental truths that are deeply intertwined within our inner subjectivity. Simply, the most banal and meaningless moments have the capacity for profound ways of thinking. A repetitive act forms a tacit agreement between the body and mind, the conscious mind is no longer liable for basic motor functions as muscle memory allows the mind to wander. Paradoxically, the body and mind are separate entities but nevertheless dependent on each other.

 

This phenomenon is often experienced when driving, sweeping, running, doing the dishes, and more importantly, the repetitive processes associated with metal fabrication. Two minutes and a simple task are a gift, providing a moment in space where one can accomplish work while still serving their inner conscious. Breathing, walking, fabricating–if you let yourself feel through your body, you will feel the world around you. In making sculpture, I participate in a larger conversation about knowing and being. It is through the fabrication processes that engage me physically and mentally that I strive to feel an affirmation of existence through the reification of form. The complexities between the duality of mind and body can be correlated to the relationship between the artist and viewer. The work of art is meant to be encountered and the viewer is asked to contribute their time.

 

Through these processes, I have learned that metal is like the human body–it breathes, bends, pushes, and breaks. An infallible industrial material, my ultimate partner, always steady and predictable yet subject to change, metal is eventually humbled through the inevitable oxidation process. As both actor and narrative, metal retains memory and it’s decaying surface embodies existential truths. Its beckoning forms strive to build a bridge between the physicality of the creator and the physicality of the viewer, thus creating a bodily viewing experience. My sculptures not only invite viewers into an intimate conversation with a powerful steel giant, but also allows the viewer a pause – a space of meditative breath in the flux of everyday existence.