sculpture, 2D work on paper
more works: flickr
Making art is an aspect of my pursuit of the essential and real. It is a way to engage in process and connect with something that is more organic and enlivening than everyday duties and distractions usually allow. It is a search for answers, an exploration of material and ideas, and—for me, at least—an attempt to express the ineffable in form. It also happens to be fun.
My aesthetic is informed by the natural world and its processes, a longstanding interest in the spiritual experience and its traditions, and my sense of movement and flow. These, however, serve as foundational elements and points of departure rather than subjects outright. After years of contention with narrative and message construction, and several encounters with the existential void, I am fortunate to have come to a place in my creative life where the work is coming forth without undue handwringing or pushing and prodding on my part. My job is to be there to allow it to unfold.
In much of my sculpture, the formal aspects of a piece are largely determined by my exploration of material and technique. I immerse myself in the making, and allow it to guide me in the creative process. Of course, there is a continuing dialogue in working with the material and form, and authorial decisions must be made along the way. But the conversation is usually engaging and instructive, and the work and I both seem to benefit in the process.
This method also drives some of my work on paper, especially my exploration of color. However, two other main veins also run through my two-dimensional work: the investigation and representation of form through the close act of seeing, and a more narrative approach that uses visual elements to give form to particular ideas, feelings, and experiences.
Regardless of approach, in a greater sense I hope to infuse my work with the deeper currents of nature, feeling, presence, decay, time, connection, and transcendence. Whether fierce in expression, or profound in stillness, the exquisite nature of the aesthetic experience has long been a fundamental touchstone in my life. Beyond the pleasure of the sensual experience itself, my encounters with beauty force a break in habitual mental routines, creating an opening for greater awareness and meaning to emerge. This is what it is to be moved, floored, shaken. This is what I hope to share with others, just as I have been awed by others’ work.
At heart, then, my art is both a reaching in to self and a reaching out to others. It is a chance to touch the core, to resonate and be felt. A reminder that we are so much more than daily life usually allows us to be. A refuge from the surface of things; a site where deepening can occur.
Claire Lewis Evans has a BFA in Studio Art (printmaking) and MA in Communication (film and video concentration) from Georgia State University. In her professional life, she has worked as a communications specialist, television producer, journalist, and magazine editor, and currently serves as editor for digital publishing at The University of Alabama Press. Away from her day job, Lewis Evans is a fixture in UA’s sculpture department, where she actively pursues post-baccalaureate study. She finds sculpture particularly compelling for its sheer physicality and the unmediated directness of its processes, a refreshing contrast to our increasingly abstracted, virtual world.
A driving force in Lewis Evans’ personal life has been her spiritual search and practice. After more than 15 years of study and leadership in an active teaching lineage, Lewis Evans has returned to art making in recent years as a more personal way of integrating and expressing her explorations into higher consciousness and human understanding. This led to her first solo exhibition, In Form, at the Tuscaloosa Arts and Humanities Council’s Bama Theatre in August 2009.
Lewis Evans also cares greatly about the environment, and her sense of fascination and connection with the forces of the natural world is evident in much of her art. Other elements at play include her sense of movement and flow; her longstanding interests in myth, symbol, and archetype; and the interplay of dualities, such as open and closedness, light and shadow—qualities that naturally lend themselves to artistic expression, as they are key components of our understanding of the material world.
Claire Lewis Evans can be reached at email@example.com or 205.310.3207.