There are many ways of telling a story; I tell stories in wood. Each one of my pieces documents my drive to find the “and” between various artistic traditions, a way of linking dissimilar ways of knowing the world, to find the places of overlap that tell the story of who and what we are. There are various and at times contradictory themes at play in each piece. On the surface, there’s a simple montage of carving traditions, both old and new. Underneath there’s a juxtaposition of meanings — or perceived meanings — in conversation with one another.

Another conversation takes place as I carve. Wood is an idiosyncratic material, and each board I use comes with its own history of branches and bark and burls. While I’m carving, I must remain conscious of both my own vision and the peculiarities inherent in the wood.

This process is important to me. I enjoy the interaction, the surprise of seeing a piece take shape beneath my hands. My most recent pieces incorporate elements from several carving traditions. In each piece, I’ve chosen components that have struck me through their beauty and depth of meaning, through the craft and skill of artists across cultures and throughout history.

These images are both abstract and narrative, both personal and universal. By placing these elements in dialogue with one another, I am also drawing viewers in to a conversation, inviting them to imagine new meanings, and experience the sense of mystery and wonder inherent in encountering something both like and unlike oneself.

Brian Andrews © 2017. All Rights Reserved.