In my work, I create figures from sequences of stone and glass. The figures rise up from the external landscape where I live, a place filled with remnants of stonewalls and glacial erratic. I gather stones from quarry rubble and from New Hampshire neighbors who allow me to choose stone from their land. The glass portions of the sculpture are combined with these found stones, suggesting human figures, I try to choose rocks that evoke the feeling and gesture of human forms, specifically torsos and heads. I will lookfor a flat rock with a curved edge and tapering form to suggest torsos or the triangulation of stone with a cleft that may hint of a head. I do very little to alter these stones in the process of making sculptures, perhaps just chiseling or cutting a bit. Instead, I seek to emphasize qualities already naturally present. The layering of kiln-cast glass with the stone allows for light to pass through the figures and for what I hope embodies the spiritual and physical essence of human nature into each sculpture. By marrying fire and materials of earth with the modern process of casting glass, there is a fusion of composition and chance. The figures range in scale from larger-than-life to those under twelve inches. Given the range of scale and opportunity to group figures together, there are layers of interpersonal drama, gender, and generational concerns.
The combination of materials expresses both the fragility and enduring qualities of humanity.
I believe the figures are universal in that they speak directly to what is elemental rather than superficial about us and our relationships to others. These qualities of spirit are nearly indefinable, those qualities that we share in our immediate lives as well as through a common human history, but it is what I want to capture in some small measure. I also incorporate my figures into wall-mounted sculptures of stone, and cast bronze tree branches, titled the “Entwine and “Within” series.
The “Withins” are stone mounted panels, with figures layered into these sculptures. I see them as suggestive of prehistoric cave paintings, envisioning the essence of birth, inner growth and the inner self.
The “Entwines” cast bronze tree branch sculptures explore ideas between nature and mankind’s reliance on the environment. By casting tree branches in bronze my figures seem to emerge and grow out of these living branches. Entwined in this growth my figures become couples who are being pulled together and merged in a union by the bronze branches and cast leaves.
The figures seem ready to bloom in life through the dynamics of human relationships, birth, and nature. I hope they suggest a family lineage in our relationship to mankind and also to the natural world.
I have also become interested in beehives and wasp nest and bees. I use natural
beehives as a positive to cast into bronze. I then incorporate the bronze hives in my tree branch sculptures, with lamped-worked glass bees. I feel I am exploring a range of metaphors with the figures, cast tree elements and bees. I see a relationship between the social structure of bees and humans: how they create a complex environment to live in, how they work to propagate a colony and to insure the survival of the queen. I see this as similar to a human family structure, nurturing and working together to grow as one.
Thomas Scoon is represented by Sandra Ainsley Gallery, located in Toronto, the leading contemporary glass art gallery in Canada.