Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Playschool is heavily influenced by my tactile way of learning. Each sculpture is a visual way of communicating my story. Traditionally, words are the primary tools used in learning and communication. However, from a very early age I discovered that my auditory processing disability and dyslexia made expressing ideas through words and the written language very difficult. It was a challenge for me to understand how words fit together to make compete sentences, and I struggled throughout my education to find a successful means of communicating my thoughts and ideas about the world around me. What came naturally to me however was the ability to see and understand how the parts of an object like a clock or a toy for example assembled to make it work. I was attracted to the physicality of the materials and the mechanics that held them together. As a result, learning, for me, evolved into a visceral rather than an intellectual experience. My work is my voice communicated through the tools and materials that have become my primary language. My process is driven by the idea of play as a visual and tactile form of learning. My high regard for process, material, and craftsmanship is exhibited through every piece I create. A past surrounded by hardworking craftsmen and laborers has also greatly impacted the imagery I use. I appreciate the personal aspect of using hand tools to create something intimate and also feel the considerable power that comes with working heavy equipment. These two ideas are at the forefront of my mind while I create using many hand tools to construct something that often mimics heavy machinery. Many of my skills have been acquired from working with people of various trades and this greatly influences my studio practice. This hands-on type of education has played a vital role in influencing the type of work I create. The construction I have encountered daily for the last year and a half, on the South end of LSU's football stadium has motivated many of my current works. My sculptures were drawn from the perpetual transition that happens on the construction site and the endless lines that appear in the scaffolding equipment and rebar-concrete supports. This three-]dimensional line quality is translated into my work constantly with the stacking and layering of square wooden dowels and steel square stock. I use the density and structure of the lines alongside the kinetic aspect to draw my viewer in for a closer look and give the viewer a tactile way to view the nature of my work.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Nord, James S., "Playschool" (2014). LSU Master's Theses. 2675.