Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Inspiration: Elsa Mora
As a full-time graduate student studying art education I have been asked to keep a record of my artistic and educational experience. I’ve decided to make this a part of my weekly blogging experience. My professor has requested that I reflect on the artists I’ve listed here as inspirations. This posting is the first in a series about my inspirations.
Truthfully, I can’t remember how I first came across the blog of Elsa Mora. It could have been from any number of places as nearly all of the blogs I frequent have at the very least mentioned her at some point or another. Her blog is striking. The images are all her own creation and even the words somehow seem to take on an artistic bent with her penchant for centering text.
She writes about herself, her family, and her extended family. I especially love her ability to be so open as to view the world with everyone else’s eyes as well as her own. The writing she does about her children especially highlights this ability. Instead of pointing out how charming the language of her children is (and truly all child language is magical), she partakes in it and seems to be a part of both her own world and theirs.
She seems to exude art. Her blog cites her many different artistic endeavors, her book, and her life with her husband and children. It would seem that she makes the most of every moment of her life using it for creation and love in some manner or another. And, I am so inspired by that.
To say her artwork is special, wonderful, fabulous . . . would be an understatement. There is just something about it for me that clicks. It resonates with the viewer sometimes in a way that is inexplicable. She often writes about what she was feeling before a creation but at the same time often restrains from telling you exactly what the piece means or is about stating: “I won't write anything about them in detail so you can have your own ideas.” And, wow, an artist who doesn’t overstate or over-think the explanation of her own work is rare. It is humble! I like that about Elsa Mora’ work. I truly, truly, truly love that I can go to her blog, view her amazing creations, and leave with my own emotional responses to the work intact. It gives the viewer, I feel, a much more meaningful experience.
And wowza her work! From tiny dolls, to blossom buddies, to paper-cuts, to porcelains they are all elegant, delicate, and so full of emotion. There is a sort of raw innocence to her work that almost cuts me. She currently has some older work of hers posted because it reminded her of a current emotional state. The work deals with loss and life and features some of my favorite subjects: birds. From a dress made of bird discs to a cacophony of birds in different vignettes the work is so evocative. One such vignette features a small sculpture of a bird with a pair of scissors threatening to cut off the bird’s wings. The image should be disturbing, and it is raw . . . But, to me, it seems to evoke a sense of the bittersweet. The bird is being threatened, yes, but the sculpture is so static that is doesn’t feel to me that the bird is in any real threat. Instead, I focus of the beauty of the line and the execution of the work. . . And, my own private emotive responses.
Elsa doesn’t outline exactly what the piece means. . .but she does tell you where she was going while creating the entire series. I like that nurturing yet live and let live mentality. I have an idea of where she was going, but am still left with enough headspace for my own thoughts.
I recommend dropping by her blog for a visit or strolling through her store (which sells out quickly when updated).