Visual Artist, Ceramic Figurative Sculptor
Paris, Kentucky, USA
Mediums: Clay, Ceramic Materials, Paints and Stains.
Style: Contemporary Figurative Ceramics
Favorite Quotes: “It’s not a sprint, It’s a Marathon.”
“Doesn’t matter what you’ve read or think you know, nothing compares to getting your hands thick in it.”
Favorite Books: Grimm’s Tales
As a mother of two boys, one who has autism, my artistic process is inspired by children, animals and rural culture. Children challenge me to see through a new perspective, one that leaves behind the preconceived expectations about motherhood and childhood. As I watch my children discovering the natural world, it reawakens my child-like perspective when everything was new and still waiting to be discovered and explained. These sculptures are conceived through an undiscovered range of emotions, which are heavily influenced by the young child’s form. In my pieces, I try to imply the unnoticed, misunderstood, and obvious instances of our human nature through empathetic visual cues. The work engages the viewer in an unspoken dialogue that spurs a curiosity, and concern for others.
Please tell us about your first experience creating.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating. All my life I have been surrounded with materials to create art and encouragement to express myself through those materials. But, I can remember as a child growing up, our family moved frequently. My father was in the Army, and from every home we moved from, I was given new mediums from which I could create. The movers would bring in the boxes and packing tape and paper. My mother, to keep me busy during these events, would cover a room’s floor and 3 feet up a wall with unused packing paper. She’d tape it all down and hand me a new set of finger paint’s.
What music do you like to have playing while creating art?
Depending on whichever stage in the sculpting process, I do listen to music or need quiet. When I begin a work, there is a lot of clay being packed onto an armature. I typically listen to metal or alternative genres in this phase of the sculpt. When refining a piece, I prefer music with meaningful lyrics that seem to fit the overall mood of the piece. The hollowing and painting process is best done in quiet, so I can concentrate on making the final fired piece technically sound and reflect on the piece’s concept and on color choices.
If you have a job besides being an artist, can you tell us about it?
Besides being a fulltime studio artist, and mother, I am also a goat farmer. My family lives on a 200 acre farm; we own cattle and a variety of poultry. I keep around 60 South African Boer goats, until around spring when the goat babies are born. Then that number is doubled at least. It’s good fuel for the creative fire! A large part of my art is observations in social communication that exist in humans and animals. The goats and birds have many was of communicating to one another though body language and posture. And their social behaviors juxtaposed with human social structure always inspire new work.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
My sculpture is life, retold though a filter of symbolism and allegory. The work I produce is inspired by what surrounds me every day as a mother, a farmer, and artist. In each piece there is a story behind its creation; they are pieces of me, like a personal journal. Each sculpture represents my maternal experience, and the metamorphosis of that experience as mother and child grow, learn and demonstrate their moral and physical understanding of the world. My work hints at something beyond the surface; a concept that reveals something beautiful, or enlightening that wasn’t easily understood. I want to show the learning, growing and changing aspects of our lives; in the same manner old allegorical tales revealed the true nature of the human condition.
The metaphorical nature of the work asks the viewer to think outside of the norm, and into a place where the moral of my story is relevant. My work relates to the concerns and observations I have had as a mother raising a child with autism. The viewer is given a glimpse into the internal experience I have with the development of child relationships when autism is a factor. Concepts and themes that encompass my work include the relationships siblings, peers, and mothers have with one another, and the social dynamics therein.
Tell us about your creative process
When making these pieces, there is a beginning middle and end to their creation. They always begin with an idea that is driven by intuition. A rough sketch of the idea comes first and later a rough maquette of the form. From the drawing and maquette I build a simple armature to support the weight of the wet clay while building.
The next steps in my process are probably best described as the middle and the most physically involved. Clay is packed onto the armature solid and the form is sculpted. The piece is then cut off the armature using a cut off wire, and the piece is hollowed out. Once the piece has been hollowed, and the walls of the piece are consistent in width; the piece is reassembled one section at a time. Reattaching the pieces requires scoring and slipping, as well as compressing the seams.
Finally, the piece is ready for the kiln. The first firing is between cone 08 to cone 06 depending on the level of sanding needed in the next step. I use a modified kiln firing schedule I learned from Beth Cavener. If the pieces are fired to quick or incorrectly, there have been explosive consequences. Once out of the kiln the piece is sanded and glazed with an underglaze. The work is fired again to cone 6 and, finally the work can be finished with oil based stains and patina's.
What things inspire you to create art?
Mostly, I am inspired by the events of everyday life, but I have deep need to create. Creating is therapy and a way to share my experience to others who are going through the many emotional consequences of a diagnosis of autism. As a mother of two children one who has autism, and a farmer there is never a moment when my creative side is not working!
- 2014 -Solo Exhibition, “Unspoken: New Works From Lyndsey Fryman” Marta Hewett Gallery, 1310 Pendleton Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. (513) 281-2780
- 2013 -“This is Contemporary Art” Marta Hewett Gallery, 1310 Pendleton Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. (513) 281-2780
- 2013 -“Visions in Clay 2013”, LH Horton Gallery, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207 (juried by Peter Held).
- 2013 -“not (2) BIG” small arts competition, M S Rezny Gallery, 903 Manchester Street, Lexington, KY (juried by Arturo Sandoval)
- 2012 -”Visions in Clay 2012”, LH Horton Jr. Gallery, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207 (juried by Joe Bova).
- 2012 -Solo Exhibition "Without A Sound", Central Library Gallery, 140 East Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40507, 859 231 5559
- 2012 -“Clay 3” 2012 Regional Juried Ceramics Exhibition, ClaySpace, Warrenville, Illinois 60555, (630) 393-CLAY (juried by Steven Hill).
- 2011 -“Devotion to Detail” Marta Hewett Gallery, 1310 Pendleton Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. (513) 281-2780
- 2011-12 -“A Show of Heads” Limner Gallery, 123 Warren Street, Hudson, New York, 12534, (518) 828-2343
- 2011 -”Artists for a Cause” Invitational Benefit for the American Cancer Society. Redtree Gallery, 3210 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45209
- 2011 -20th Annual “National Juried Exhibition” Art Institute & Gallery, 212 West Main Street, Suite 101 Salisbury, MD 21801.
- 2011 -”Visions in Clay 2011”, LH Horton Jr. Gallery, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207 (juried by Judith S. Schwartz.)
- 2011 - 7th Annual “Rites of Passage”, Manifest Gallery, 2727 Woodburn Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206.
- 2010 -“Alternate Selves” Lexington Art League, Loudoun House 209 Castlewood Dr., Lexington KY. (juried)
- 2009 -University Open, Gallery at Downtown Arts Place, Lexington, KY (juried exhibition)
Have you sold any of your artworks?
I have been so fortunate to have had a positive response to my art. I began to sell my sculptures right after I finished my Undergraduate studies. My work has been sold through commercial galleries, juried shows, charities and commission. Most of my first pieces sold were through juried exhibitions and out of state, from as far as California to New York. I have continued to have success with juried exhibitions, but most of my work is now represented by the Marta Hewett Gallery and sells well through that commercial venue.
How do you promote your art on the internet?
I have a website and use social media outlets such as: Facebook, Artween, Artslant, Flickr, Photobucket; and any opportunity that I find.
I gather influence and inspiration by what surrounds me every day; people young and old, nature, animals, and life experiences. I tend to take information from all these sources and intuitively blend it into an emotional narrative.
Most of all, I am inspired by my children and my experience as a mother of a child who has autism. I try to share through my work a perspective of my experience in metaphor and symbolism. My figures are given animal characteristics that are used to communicate concepts and emotions without making a sound. One of the biggest obstacles we face is a lack of verbal communication typically seen in children who have autism. I try to capture this in my work.
Please recommend another artist you admire
I began loving art through my Mother. She always kept books around the house loaded with paintings, and fiber arts; and she herself did oil paintings and created sewn and crafted arts, so all the tools were right at hand for me at an early age. When I think of where the need for art began I remember most books full of Impressionist paintings. I would comb through the pages trying to discern the reasons for the style and try to understand the technique and color choices. From then to now I really appreciate Mary Cassatt and the mood her work has overall.
While going through my studies in sculpture, I looked at a lot of Auguste Rodin, and Camille Claudel. I personally benefited from reading about their lives and concepts in their work; and the same applies for Frida Kahlo, and Beth Cavener. I never get tired of seeing these artist's work. They drive me to work harder in my own work. I had the opportunity to work for Beth as an intern in her studio off and on while still in Undergrad and later after I had finished my degree. She gave me a lot of great technical and career advice that I still use today.
Tell us something interesting in your life
Life gave me a detour before I could call Kentucky my home. I was born in Kentucky, but only lived in the state for two months before my family moved to Germany to live for the next five years. Considering I was an infant when I left, it’s easy to say I only set foot on US soil when I was five years old. It wasn’t until I was in my later teens that I made my way back to Kentucky. Never did I anticipate staying long after a life of traveling, but I fell in love with the rural culture and met my other half.
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?
Rather than embarrassing moments, I have stories that are so ridiculous they couldn’t possibly be made-up. Real life stories, at least in my experience have always kept our family get together’s, or fireside tale’s entertaining, and full of laughs. Small towns, like where I live, slowly absorb new members into their social culture. Individuals are known by the tales and stories they played major roles in creating. Over time these stories are turned into small town folklore, consequently creating a lasting memory of particular life experiences.
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
If I could live my life over again, there isn't anything I would do differently. The life I have lived has up until this moment, shaped who I am, morally, and ethically. Events and experiences have given me the perspective from which I create my art, and live my life. I’m pretty happy about life!
What plans do you have for the future of your art?
I will always need to create, otherwise too much gets locked inside of me, and I can’t think straight.
For the near future I plan to continue sculpting figures in clay, but I may keep more archival visual records of my process. Most of my sketches are done with sidewalk chalk on the concrete floor of my studio, or on the base of my sculptures armature.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
Apply to many opportunities, even the ones you think are impossible to get, you'll never know unless you apply. Don't get discouraged when your art is not accepted. It doesn't mean your work is not good, just that the juror was looking for something else.
Paris, Kentucky, USA
Website: Lyndsey Fryman | Facebook
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