Will Tracey               Furniture

Artist Statement:

I am interested in layers of making, and of meaning. My latest work is largely improvisational in nature. Objects evolve as they are being made, drawing inspiration from architectural fragments, from foundry patterns, from history, and from home. Some of these new forms begin as if they are to be cast, a part for a machine or a piece of a building. Their purpose is somehow familiar, but as yet unrealized. I have been treating the results of these beginnings as if they were found objects, bringing them to a new place in the finished piece. Their utility becomes vital to their meaning, often celebrating their common but timeless functions. Matches, candles, letters; now antiquated but still in use today. Once vital technologies, these things survive today in a limbo caught somewhere between reluctant obsolescence and nostalgia.

Process is left bare, almost as decoration. Its an effort to unmask the act of making, to render it more directly. I am engaged in revealing the importance of my relationship to the material, shedding fresh light on the act of working wood. For me what makes wood wood is not the seduction of its grain or its organic qualities, but the subtleties of the ways in which it can be worked. With this new work I am striving to leave evidence of the making of a thing, to allow form and the generating a form to maintain a real resonance. Paint plays a major role, highlighting these qualities, gracefully welcoming age and wear, informing historical inspirations.

Home has become a focal point in my work. Memories of place, of New England specifically, have played a significant role in my visual experience, and are increasingly the source from which I draw inspiration. I have begun to seek out the relevance of this to my work, and it has lead to new questions, and to new forms. Buildings, structures and cultural relics from a time now passed provide an important insight into another society, its history, and its way of working. These remnants are emblematic of a society now gone. Only its ghosts remain. The roles of these things have changed, yet they continue to occupy a place in our world. Not only are these relics markers of home and its broader meaning, they have become for me symbols of work and making. Examining the magnitude of these icons of our past, transcribing these forms from artifact to art, I am searching for a new significance.