Crystal Lockwood Artist Statement
My medium is hand collected driftwood gathered from the California and Oregon coastlines. Each piece is a unique, one of a kind creation, as unique as the tree itself. I collect pieces for their natural energy and flow, but more importantly, the pieces speak to me. I am mainly a figurative sculptor, my inspiration draws from the works of Rodin, Michelangelo, Classical Greek Art, Art Nouveau, and the more modern Manuel Neri. My method is subtractive, I carve away the parts that are not the figure, while saving other rough and raw parts that are essential to seeing the story of the driftwood’s journey. There is a lot of letting go in my work. I want the piece to speak it’s truth. I never make preliminary drawings, I draw directly on the wood with chalk to outline my design, leaving a lot of room for change. I try not to dictate too much of what I want, and try and listen to the driftwood and hear it’s story. The design process is very much about what to carve, and what to leave alone. The direction of a piece can change dramatically due to a natural flaws in the wood. I push and the wood pushes back. The wood always wins.
People often feel drawn to touch my sculptures. I always encourage them to do so. I think that wood in itself is archetypal, and we are drawn to it’s primal qualities. Something about wood instantly grounds people. They feel the power of the living tree, of Mother Nature.
The journey of the driftwood is an important metaphor for my work. I think it is important to honor the journey of the tree, down the river, through the storm, into the sea, and onto the beach. From a tree proudly standing in the forest, to a twisted, wind torn, bleached grey fragment lying in the sand….beautiful, but violently changed from what it once was. I believe that driftwood tells an ancient tale of evolution and beauty, of life and death. Inside each sculpture is a story, the trees many years of growth, the seasons, the hardships, the storms, the wind, the flood, the waves, the journey. It’s all there to see in the twisted wood, the grooves and ridges and swirls, the rocks embedded into holes, the knots where branches once lived. This is the story that I long to hear, that I hope to set free in each sculpture that I create.