A pottery sculpture series, Pomgrenades by Shanna Wheelock sparks discussion on war and peace with poet/etheicst Chris Crittenden, both of Lubec. One wields words, one rearranges earth. Both provoke thought. Free discussion/poetry reading at the Catbird Seat Gallery & Eastport School of Arts, #3 Dana Street, (corner of Water and Dana, look for the big clock in Eastport), Monday evening, 7 p.m. August 13.

For further information contact Heidi Reidell, heidi.reidell[at]gmail.com, 207.853.4777.

Artist Statement – Chris Crittenden
My poetry is fueled by two things: an intense worship of the depth of words and a fervent quest to overwhelm social apathy. It intolerably shocks me that a nuclear bomb could go off, sparking stock market crashes and a civil slide; and yet our hallowed institutions play dumb, as do most all of us in our unelected and unenviable roles as bipedal ants. There is an antidote for anthood. Empathy. Empathy and its ingredient passion. Empathy that cracks denial. Passion that pulls life into roseate, lime, tangerine, or any other chakra-worthy color. Poems do not need to wax political to stimulate healing; but they must be brutal or sublime while focusing on what I call “the miracle of the simple.” One of my favorite inspirations is the physiognomy of a leaf. The endless ways it can ramify into profound metaphors. Joy and lachrymosity await in the humble flutter of a single green wing lost to its own Sufi-dance. The bravest bard swings round on the wheel of life, euphoric with youth, whirling through frissons. One moment, celebration. The next, despair. What a journey, rolling along in candid odyssey, chasing a sob. The Muses demand it, especially in these times, when humanity straddles ominous achievements, one leg resting on hope, the other doom. If you are brave enough to see this bifurcation when you look at a dancing leaf, you are no longer an inmate in purgatory, but rather a most special and needed guide.

Artist Statement – Shanna Wheelock
War, nuclear disaster, corruption. We are inundated with news that somehow tricks us, makes us believe that the health of both human and Earth is hostage to profit. My sculptures comment on this social dysfunction and reflect my struggle in the face of insane dualities. A person of peace, I have a dark edge, and must delve into it, ultimately, to ground my protest. Although the images may invoke violence and pain, they establish a source of hope. Repetition, in one sense a symbol of machine drudgery, harbors an ironic depth: a creative state of profound concentration.

Even when crafting grenades, I find peace.

Repetition can be reclaimed. It yields a statement against the Mechanism in which we are slated to conform. Although I find peace in art’s repetition, countless souls suffer to keep our mechanized world functioning. Mechanization in this mode is a psychotic trajectory, extending from factory to war to fanatic ideologies, whether religious or avaricious.

With my sculptures, I portray the road to doom as superficially appealing. The shine of gunmetal. The streamline of a bullet. The virile thrust of a missile. And, riding these, the glamour of the patriotic hero who dies for a falsified cause. Through repetition and devilish aesthetics, I present our collective fascination and glorification of things that work to destroy our best works, and everything else.

My functional pottery and weaving is deeply rooted in the spiritual realm, a celebration of nature and being. Like my sculptural work, repetition is at the forefront. It is my daily meditation.

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