TED CLAUSEN

SCULPTURE

SCULPTURE

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ARTIST STATEMENT

 

Once the bell rings and you get your coat and hat on, you are all the same - there are no individuals anymore.

We become a team - a team working to one purpose.

Vendome Firefighters Memorial, Boston, MA

 

The church aided runaway slaves by hding them under the floor baoards. The people of Reading

and Bethel Church were good to me. - Dinah Clark, daughter of slaves, 1861

The River Speaks, Reading, PA

 

It's not how these officers died that made them heros, it is how they lived.

Public Safety Memorial, Montgomery County, MD

 

Each of my public art works integrates form, space, and story into a narrative journey. I create sculptural forms and spaces that are sometimes intimate, sometimes monumental, each of which becomes a vehicle for the stories and histories of the theme of the work. Each work is specifically and meticulously crafted for its site and theme: the materials and the way I use them vary with each project.

Each form and public space I create embodies the theme and guides the visitor through the work. For a firefighters memorial in Boston, MA, I designed an intimate outdoor space which leads the visitor into the story of the fire and brings him/her to stand before the site of the blaze; for Reading PA, I created a towering sculpture that recreates the curves of the city's river in four stories of mirror stainless steel, surrounding it with a circular path of stainless steel engraved with quotations from the city’s history.

My belief in the power of stories to remind, educate, and inspire is at the core of my work. I begin by working with the local students and community members to gather the public histories and personal stories that are specific to the project. I have an established curriculum for this aspect that I tailor to each project. Whether the theme of the work is the daily life of a soldier on the Korean front, or the first 100 years of a town’s life, the final texts are chosen for their ability to vividly capture and explore the theme from a variety of points of view: they inform; they are often personal and emotionally moving; they can be humorous or intellectually provocative, poetic or refreshingly everyday.

I often underscore the meanings of the text by using evocative objects which encourage the visitor to touch: a draped, life-size firefighter’s coat and hat in bronze; a life-size cast metal plow used by the first settlers to a region; a bronzed, pocket-sized prayer book carried by an American prisoner of war in Korea.The resulting works are layered and interactive: visitors’ attention is alternately focused on text, on form and on space, each interaction furthering the sense of journey. The works are multi-sensory, involving visual and intellectual curiosity, touch, and movement. They capture the particular feel, texture, and meanings of the theme. They invite and encourage further visits.

 

RESUME