Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Germanic wood sculpture
Sculptor Stefanie Rocknak makes the incredible life-sized pieces you see here, inspired by the medieval art of Germany.
I was so taken with these images (seen in my alumni magazine, Colby: we both attended the same college) that I contacted Rocknak to rave. There's so much emotion captured in these faces and in their body language. I feel like I could stare at them for hours to try to figure out what their individual stories are.
There's something about these figures that is timeless and we see they are the same as us today...but deep in the wood is the darkness of their shortened, brutal lives. They lived in a world where superstition reigned, where food was scarce, and where they couldn't even use logs to warm their huts (only nobles could burn logs; peasants were reduced to whatever branches they could scrounge on the ground).
These sculptures visually show what I tried to convey with words in The Witch's Trinity. In fact, had I known of Rocknak's work in 2006, I would have begged and pleaded with my editor to have one of her pieces on the cover --or maybe even this triptych, which to me looks like the priest, Gude and Irmeltrud.
Check out Rocknak's artist statement on her website. I love her eclectic, whimsical look back at what fueled her work (like her brother's wooden robot, or a face she carved with her dad as a child), rather than some high-flung attempt to interpret her philosophy for others.
This image of her is from the Colby magazine article by Pat Sims. I love how the statue in the background is arching around to look at the camera too.