What is Assemblage Art?

When I talk about what I do, many are not aware of what assemblage art actually is. I have to confess that when I began making my creations, even I did not know what it was.

Here is a pretty good definition of it. Pronunciation: ah·sem·blahj "As one familiar with the word "assembly" might assume, assemblage is a form of sculpture comprised of "found" objects arranged in such a way that they create a piece. These objects can be anything organic or man-made. Scraps of wood, stones, old shoes, baked bean cans and a discarded baby buggy - or any of the other 84,000,000 items not here mentioned by name - all qualify for inclusion in an assemblage. Whatever catches the artist's eye, and fits properly in the composition to make a unified whole, is fair game." by Shelley Esaak.


As I continue down the path of making my work, I am finding that not only am I assembling physical objects to form a whole, I am also assembling bits and pieces of my past, present and future. I am becoming mindful of how my life experiences and unique history are melding into something where the "whole" is a sum greater than the parts.

As a child, I lived in a very rural area in the PNW but I also spent a ton of time in tiny towns in California's gold country where both sets of my grandparents lived. I collected rocks, learned to shoot a gun, panned for gold, went antiquing & explored forests. My rural roots have collided with my 30 years of living in urban Los Angeles and only upon my return to living in a rural environment, have I begun to incorporate it all into my work as an artist.


An example of my times with my grandparents is "Sharpshooter," my depiction of the antique Spanish pistols that hung on the wall above my grandpa's desk. I often have people ask me

Sharpshooter

how I see what I see when I make a piece. I usually see one element in the piece that sparks my imagination, then I look to find other objects to create the fully formed sculpture. In the case of Sharpshooter, the initial inspiration was from the piece of driftwood that forms handle and about 2/3 of the gun. As I continue to evolve and grow as an artist, I hope that my work will inspire interesting conversations.




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