Many times, I feel the essential energy that brings a sculpture into being flows not from me but through me. I accept a lot on faith: the faith that this endeavor is basic and necessary to the greater human enterprise: that art can be a repository of ineffable spiritual values.
Humans' first impulse to beauty, the first act of aesthetic consciousness, was the selection and collection of "special" rocks or pebbles; these collections have been found in caves predating mimetic or symbolic cave art.
My engagement with the materials is a dialogue of two natures: that of the material and my intuitional sense of touch, drawing and my vision of beauty. I work not merely willfully but allow the potential unique to each material to speak as well, to let their nuances prevail.
Whether by hand or by collaboration with craftsmen in fabrication, I act in concert with that dialogue. Drawing in its widest sense plays a major role in how I act.
The ultimate challenge is to articulate and transform the materials and to claim space in such a way that all the elements maintain their integrity yet
transcend their inherent identity to cohere into a presence imbued with autonomous life, manifest as a metaphor of human feelings, reveries and aspirations.
This is a trace of my encounter in the world, focused and embodied in formal plastic terms: it is my affirmation of the boundless human spirit and the mystery of existence.
I believe that, as the result of some genetic mystery, certain of us have an inherent predilection for a specific activity in life. It has always seemed inevitable to me that I be an artist.
At the time I was born, my father was a blue-collar worker in a factory and over the years worked his way up to a white-collar job. By both example and instruction he taught me respect for the simple, basic values of our
Midwestern community: hard work, integrity and dignity. He gave me a sense of my own worth and the courage to act. I believe that inspiration, diligence and perseverance will ultimately get me what I want.
In my earliest consciousness, I remember having a sense of infinite possibility ... to dream, to become, and though I've always been a dreamer, the pragmatism of the puritan work ethic has been my tether to the earth.
Over the years, Iíve grown to deeply appreciate and understand the values that were imbued in me at an early age and to feel them as a source of sustaining strength in pursuing my vision as an artist.
Jim Huntington © 1977