M.L. Snowden Commentaries
Over the years, M.L. Snowden has commented on the nature, art and philosophy of sculpture as it relates to certain works.
Here is a selection of quotations drawn from sculptor’s journals, articles and interviews.
“I think there is artistic creation still to be done in living with ‘finished’ sculpture. I think the collector further shapes the sculpture in a continuing process of visualization. I always marvel how the ethos of a sculptural edition will be different when viewed in someone else’s possession. It will be wonderfully changed and unique to them as well as to me.”
151 (On the nature of Sculpture)
“The Golden Spiral is a special form of the Logarithmic Growth Spiral that infuses earthly growth patterns and formations. It flowed from my hands and was a beautiful experience to build.”
159 (Golden Spiral)
"This bronze design celebrates the mathematical Sublime Triangle through a braid of angles. I think the new conformation of line in the sculpture re-visions this Golden Proportion in a way that promotes inner and outer harmony.”
161 (Golden Triangle)
“I like to think we wear harmonic proportion like a glove. We inhabit it; exude it; can’t escape it. We often don’t realize we’re inhabiting the center of majesty because of the perfection of the fit.”
163 ( Golden Spiral)
“Almost mythic and framed in tempestuous energy as the smallest unit of light, Photon balances as an immense enlargement measured by a human icon.”
“In a certain sense, Infinitum is always questing, turning, and imaginatively broadening into larger octaves of creation and fulfillment.”
“As for sculpture, the capacity to visualize is to possess the capacity to become and to be.”
153 (M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“In creating sculpture, I never sit but stand through all the hours of imagining and feeling clay as a living, almost electrical charge.”
155 (M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“It seems to me a floral-shaped dendrite synapse in the mind mirrors a nebula in the cosmos. Earthly forms are relational and have cognates in the universe, where I find myself naturally and mysteriously attracted to certain visions and forms, in dreams and in sculpture.”
“Humankind and stars enjoy a lithesome connection; to look upon stars is to behold something of the measure of our own powerful cellular energies.”
“Clay lives in my studio in a way that will never be seen again; before its destruction in the foundry, before it achieves new life in molten bronze.”
145 (M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“I have always been fascinated that ephemeral ideas can be expressed within the domain of bronze. For many years, I have thought of memorializing and personifying a star through sculpting radiant lines.”
“Luminarc is all about how clay and water move together in the same physical flow-patterns as light. Indeed, light moves through an aperture just like water that collects in a pool and seeks an outlet to freedom.”
“Together in front of one another, Lightwave and Lightsurge form a visual oculus that re-groups my conception of how sculptural forms intersect and interact with light.”
“For me, the curved vault of the cosmos is all in the warped walls of bronze. In my eyes, matter comes alive on an energy arc that smooths along the curve.”
“Contemplating some measure of the extent of the universe and the curved flowing lines of light that traverse space set by stars, is to reaffirm the great cellular universe that houses the same prospects within ourselves....within the moment that our optical perception of light likely creates a surge of light in the mind...”
“This fan of Graces in Halo unfolds my conception of nurturing, structural, and supporting touch.”
“In sculpture, human anatomical musculature is built on wave formation built of infinitesimal mots or points of clay. Simply put, sculpting Angstrom has re-affirmed my private conception that my sculptural human icons are a form of light.”
“This particular sculpture is a 2 x 250 million times enlargement of an Angstrom. Where the bronze has been conceived to scale from such a small nano particle, it is conceptually immense to realize this human-scaled bronze.”
“Perhaps because they have been used so extensively in the past, I’ve often thought that Rodin’s tools have a unique affinity for clay. The tools seem to extend my fingers where the inanimate wood has taken on something of the animate."
200 (Rodin Tools)
“My father once remarked that he knew by feel if someone else had touched his sculpture tools even though they were clean and arranged in order.”
201 (Rodin Tools)
“I experience a phenomenon when I’m sculpting: When I reach certain forms that arise in clay, it becomes difficult to touch these clay shapes further, almost as if the material itself has erected a protective shield or force field that prevents my hand from making any further alterations. These final forms are my sculptures.”
122 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“I believe there are certain and singular actions that can shape a future.... as much as sculpture is a tenuous thing that in early stages seems fleeting, requiring a quiet, light and steady hand, to not discourage or over-correct what is naturally and creatively coming into view.”
“For millennia, men have been guided by the stars; our world has set their measures by them. And, as ever before, starlight is historic light. Yes, to view the star is to see light that was generated light-years ago that is only now arriving. Gazing at stars takes us beyond our own temporal world into the realm of the unknown past. For me, bronze brings to the fore the elemental substance of stars, forming a metal road into their mystery.”
“As I sculpted Nimbus, I realized I was involved in shaping a corona of light. Exhausted triumph, lingering camaraderie, hopeful states of humankind despite all odds, became apparent to me as a reflection.”
135 ( Nimbus)
“I find it a moving experience to be invited to a collector’s home and be shown my sculpture. Scenes of the first armature well up in my vision. I picture the foundry and how the weather and the light of day shone on this particular edition of the work. I remember the temperature, the emotion, and how it felt to make this particular bronze. In looking at finished sculpture, I probably have the eyes of a parent looking upon their grown child.”
133 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“If you entered now into my work, you would see brooding clouds within the dark gray clay rising and diminishing, emerging suddenly into the light of a countenance.”
203 ( Lumino)
“Creation’s Gate is a deeply personal shrine. However, privately and not previously expressed is the creative scale of the relief that sets the door at a far conceptual distance.
Imaginatively, the present scale sets the Gate in space seen at a distance of almost five parsecs, or 15,942 light years away, equal to the distance of the Star AD Leonis. At this distance in my mind, only the strongest elements of the composition are visible. If I enlarge the present work, it means I’ve advanced toward the Gate, or the Gate has moved forward toward me. In my field of vision, as the relief becomes larger in scale its visual elements change and morph into complexity, coming into sharper detail as the work more closely comes into view.”
205 ( Creation’s Gate )
“How is it that when I touch sculpture, time sheds away, weighted material becomes light?”
210 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“If I feel I am aging coming onto mid sixty, the remedy for me is to connect to my sculpture,
both in the clay and in the finished bronze. As a maker, I give to sculpture, but it gives back to me and more abundantly. For me it is the ultimate art form and it is filled with youth, health with mystery.”
211 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“Clay is an organic bloom and suspension of raw earth minerals. It feels states and emotions according to its satiation with water. As a living body it drinks in air, human touch, heat and light. It is quixotic, obtuse and urbane, with the odor of limed roses. And yet, for all its physicality, it is pure spirit, made of crystal at its heart, capable of reflecting a prism rainbow.”
“I know my hand is impermanent....but the clay and the bronze will always be young and alive.” (Lumina)
"The sculpture Photon, like light itself, pierces the the studio space with energized ramparts and spikes of bronze.”
“ This private angel was created in my earliest years as a young sculptor. At the time, around eighteen years of age, it was a great comfort to be able to make visible some of the qualities that were inspiring me.”
212 (Angel of Verona)
“In those early years, at sixteen, I was into music. As I was creating sculpture I was absorbing Ethel Leginska. I was her last pupil before her death. Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude is still in my hands and remains in my sculptural waves.”
214 (Water Fantasy)
“Clay for me is like gazing at a fire or listening to certain music. It can be a wistful almost hypnotic experience that defies description.”
“This sculpture lived but a moment and was lost in the sweep of advancing clay. Rodin solidified his work by molding it at certain points along its development. However, this clay was never cast into bronze. Instead it was momentarily photographed. Like wind, air or clouds, this Aeolian mask remains in memory as a fixed point in time before it moved forward as an evolving form.”
97 (Mask of Aeolia)
“Clay and bronze remain inviolate in the processes of the art; clay remains clay even after the sculptural form is destroyed. And bronze remains bronze after its fiery melt in a crucible. No, for me, the true art of sculpture as transformation, takes place on other levels that are not material.”
“I completed the one-ton Frieze in two weeks. At one point in that time, my vision failed and the room turned gray. I felt I was swimming in a river of strong emotion and super sensitive touch in completing the clay.”
101( Los Angeles Angel Frieze)
“One does not have to ‘look’ to sculpt; there are many ways of seeing.”
216 (M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“At times, I think my whole heart beats in just my finger-tip that touches the pulse of clay.”
103 (M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“These Angels were sculpted in nets of raining water mist, since clay dries crumbling, becoming unworkable within an hour or two of exposure to air.”
218 ( Los Angeles Main Altar)
“In faithful reckoning, an Angel may arrive in ideas breaking through a veil of earthly clay”
107 ( Angelic Quartet)
“Clay begins to breathe through the motivation of an interior soul.”
109 (M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“I often say that for me, clay and bronze are intuitive substances. I have my own ideas, yet these materials are clear in their own voices. A finished clay and its subsequent bronze
are the result of all the precise and imprecise actions and reactions coming upon and from within these mediums.”
113 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
“In creating Polaris, I realized I had created a kernel of combustion; a nucleus radiating a circular web of energy.”
“I think about how the deep radiance of the sun is in the clay, in the bronze, and in the air. The sun’s energy is indivisible from ourselves and our planet. It is an octave of the energy
that inhabits the dimensional corridors of the cosmos.”
117 (Solaris: The Geological Coreium)
“To touch bronze is to touch the root of regenerating creative force.”
“My bronze is a lucky substance; it fosters blooming; it embodies positive harmonies and alignments in the soul and mind that open doors onto health, harmony, prosperity and happiness.”
“Sculpture is passion!”
“I tend to trust and respect first creative instincts for they are the foundation of one’s imaginative soul.”
304 (Angel of Verona)
“People have a range of senses they can call upon but don’t often realize they possess.”
"As with sculpture, science for all its laws, will ever be an art so long as it depends on human perception."
327 ( On the Nature of Sculpture)
"Each bronze sculpture is a seed that houses the DNA of a vast creative arc. It spans from an exploding super nova to the elemental creation of the earth. It moves into and beyond the foundry, moving forward to an illimitable future."
328 ( On the Nature of Sculpture)
"Sculpture is a catalyst for transformation but it is essentially about spirit rather than material substance."
401( On the Nature of Sculpture)
"Go cogitate, go plan, but trust the act of creation since larger powers tend to assist positive action."
277 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
"In the act of creation, be courageous; allow the full force and truth of who you are as a human being to be present in your work. This is the great attribute of art that has the power to communicate and touch others."
288 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
"I have never followed an “ism”, a trend, a movement, or a fashion; but rather I have satisfied my hunger to see certain forms through making them."
289 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
"To be a sculptor is to never be left alone in peace from the pacts and promises made to the soul."
558 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
"I tend to trust creative action; it can open a door that will sometimes allow me to see further into the distance."
560 ( M.L. Snowden on Sculpting)
"At the Jules Stein Institute when I turned sixty, my eyes were dilated and my optic nerves were diagnosed as coils in an unusual curving formation not seen before. I was told I process optical dimensions differently but that difference, that anomaly could not be measured against how others see the world..... except through the pathways of my sculpture."
657 ( On the Nature of Sculpture)
"Through looking at my sculpture, you not only create it anew, you complete it."
664 ( On the Nature of Sculpture)