An idea for a sculpture comes from a person or event in my life or in the world, that has a lot of significance to me and I make an object about that person or event. To begin with I make very loose drawings to get a general idea of what I want to do. I then sew and stuff canvas forms together adding wire, cloth and sometimes additional objects such as mirrors. I continually take the forms apart, change the form and arrangement of the forms then sew them back together again. I also draw on the canvas with thread, drawing recognizable images that sometimes come from photographs, sometimes from life but mostly from memory. I work on these sculptures for weeks until it comes together in what I think is a visually coherent statement.
"War Zone" © Patricia Dahlman 2004
During the Republican Convention in New York City and the election in 2004 a number of galleries in New York City had anti Bush exhibitions. George Adams of George Adams Gallery asked me to do an anti Bush work and I gladly made "Mr. Bush." I worked from pictures of George Bush from news magazines to make his head, and I made his body an American flag-narcissus flower. Like Narcissus, Bush is glaring into the water-mirror. I added a word bubble, thinking about Echo, myself and the people of New York City, that says "Mr. Bush, The people of the city of the World Trade Center Attack want peace in the Middle East now!"
"Freedom" © Patricia Dahlman 2004
Hearing President Bush constantly use the word freedom made my blood boil and I made the work "Freedom?" Once again I made Bush glaring into the water-mirror now as a snake, saying "freedom." I added numerous word bubbles that say, "What about the right to vote in Florida? What about equal rights for gays? What about health insurance for all? What about our right to choose? And Cancel the Patriot Act!" I finished "Freedom?" on election night, listening to the returns on November 2, 2004. -
Don't be like so many fearful Americans, Listen to the truth!
"Can't Hear" © Patricia Dahlman 2004
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