Please scroll down to read the following pages:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1. The stories about the sculpture of James Fletcher.
(a) -The Six Blind Men and the Elephant-
Chapter 2. The stories about the sculptures of James Fletcher.
(a) -Deva Prana Upana- (b) -Twisted Sis- (c) -Stormy Tansformation-
(d) -Toxins- (e) -Book End / Skull-
(f) -Ascending Angel- (g) -Ascension-
Chapter 3. The stories about the Paintings and Drawings.
(a) -Algonquin Lake- and -Georgian Bay-
(b) -Gray s Anatomy- and -Birth/Death-
(c) -Self Portrait- -Young Wolf- -Artist s Scream- (print available)
Chapter 4. An Artist s Perspective.
Chapter 5. reprinted article by CentreTown News re:
National Captital Network of Sculptor s show
Dimensions 2006 at the Old Ottawa City Hall
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Chapter 1. (a) -the Six Blind Men and the Elephant-1990
Six blind men in India wrongly identify an elephant
as a spear, fan, tree, rope, wall and snake.
To truly know something, one must see all sides.
This sculpture reflects a strange composite of what the six blind men saw.
It reminds us of the world we live in is built up of the quite different
experiences that people have had and of which they have managed
to communicate with each other.
If we take the time to look, listen, read , think, and experience
our world from a different perspective,
we may find out that all of us have much more to agree on than to disagree about.
This ancient story originated in India and illustrates that
Knowledge is true when only it can be verfied as noted by the Six Systems of Classical Indian Philosophy.
A sculptor too must also see a work from all of it s Six Sides
in order to recreate a real object.
I sincerely hope that this sculpture will continue to tell the story.
Please take time to read the inspirational poem by John Jeffrey Saxe below:
It was six blind men of Indostan to learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant(though all of them were blind),
That each by observation might satisfy their mind.
The first approached the Elephant and happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
God bless me but the Elephant is very like a wall!
The second, feeling of the tusk cried: Ho what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp? To me: tis very clear
This wonder of an Elephant is very like a spear!
The third approached the animal and, happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands thus boldly spake:
I see , quoth he, the Elephant is very like a snake!
The fourth reached out an eager hand, and felt about the knee:
What most this wondrous beast is like is very plain, quoth he:
Tis very clear enough the Elephant is very like a tree!
The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, said: Even the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most; deny the fact who can
This marvel of an elephant is very like a fan!
The sixth no sooner had begun about the beast to grope
Than, seizing on the swinging tail that fell within his scope.
I see, quoth he, the Elephant is very like a rope!
And so these men of Indostan disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion exceeding stiff and strong.
Though each was partly in the right, they were all in the wrong!
Chapter 2. (a) -Deva Prana Upana-original bronze-1989
Literally translated from Sanskrit as: divine first breath of life-
illustrating the origin of all forms of life from Nature.
This sculpture represents the very first manifestations of lifeforms
from the source of all-the Absolute Unchanging Field-
into the -Relative Field- the changing wheel of life.
-Deva Prana Upana- is my first cast sculpture! 55 lbs. of solid bronze!
This sculpture is one of kind and will never be reproduced
into a Limited Edition.
Chapter 2. (b) -Twisted Sis-2006
This sculpture is the result of an experience with
practicing turns during Dance training.
This dancer gets so mentally and physically wound up in the attempt
that she gets stuck and is caught up in the twisted moment.
(do not attempt this at home! :-)
Available in a Limited Edition.
Chapter 2. (c) -Stormy Transformation-2006
An attempt to illustrate the movement of clouds
and the imaginary forces and life forms that one sees.
An Original ready to be cast into Bronze for a one of a kind!
Chapter 2. (d) -Toxins-1990
This artwork represents the result of a collision
between man made chemicals and nature.
Even the natural cycle of a Snake who eats Eggs is upset.
This story is not a happy one and may be seen today
when birds are born with crossed beaks. etc.
An Original ready to be cast into Bronze.
May be made available in a very Limited Edition.
Chapter 2. (e) -Book End with Skull-1989
No I am not morbid, but this sculpture is the result of
studying human anatomy. One of my first skull studies was sculpted
so that it could fit in the palm of my hand;
sort of a miniture version of Yorik from Hamlet!
It was made of clay as a result of study from Medical texts.
After philosophically pondering the transitory nature of life,
I was reminded of the famous Latin phrase- Here Lies Eternity.
Eureka! Why not sculpt an ancient dusty book , add a forgotten skull,
with some sands of time and create a book end with a message:
After we all pass away, only Knowledge remains in the dust of time.
Available in a Limited Edition.
Cast in Gypsum or resin with various patinas
and your choice of inscriptions.
Chapter 2. (f) -Ascending Angel-1989
A maquette or study of an angel with powerful wings
bursting out of the clouds.
Unfortunately this work was destroyed,
but I would love to be commissioned to recreate it.
Chapter 2. (g) -Ascension-1989
This work was revised into -Stormy Transformation-2006
but the joy of sculpting the elusive clouds will continue.
I plan to use use up the bright white porcelain clay for a future series.
Commissions are always welcome and guaranteed.
Chapter 3. a) Algonquin Lake and b) Georgian Bay
are both done in acrylic as experiments and our invented places done on 11x14 canvas boards. I usually start a landscape by painting the sky first then I leave out the land since I will always be facinated by the open changing sky.
Chapter 4. An Artist s Perspective
to be posted soon - thoughts by James Fletcher on Art and Life.
Please visit the FORUM to discuss with james and others your views on art and life.
Chapter 5. reprinted article below:
Reprinted with permission of Centretown News, online, Ottawa
STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN ART AND CHARITY
- By Rebecca Pace
Bronze, clay, glass, wax, and other materials have transformed the Old Ottawa City Hall on Sussex Drive into a sculptural mecca.
Dimensions 2006, an annual exhibit presented by the National Capital Network of Sculptors, explores a theme entitled A Fine Balance, says Mitchell Webster, sculptor and Network president.
The Network, a non-profit founded in 1984, is an association where local professional and amateur sculptors meet once a month to discuss their craft, share ideas, and organize the public exhibit, says Webster.
Janessa Bishop, Centretown News
A visitor of the Dimensions 2006 sculpture exhibit gazes at a piece on display at the OldOttawaCity Hall
The National Capital Network of Sculptors organizes the show because sculpture is diverse and covers many different media,” he says. “But we really just want to raise appreciation and awareness of this art form.”
The association’s 23rd exhibit consists of 25 sculptures individually created by members, who were invited to explore interpretations of equilibrium and balance. Webster has three pieces in the show and says his work reflects the exhibit’s title because it’s “an exploration into spiritual and philosophical balance,” and “a look into the balance between good and evil.”
James Fletcher, a Network member, has four pieces on display and says his work is based on deep stories and the impossible. One of his sculptures, entitled Six Blind Men and the Elephant, tells the ancient Indian fable of how reality may differ depending on the eye of the beholder, he says.
“Whether I’m successful, I don’t know, it depends on the viewer,” says Fletcher. “But I hope people look at my art and say, ‘What the hell is it?’”
The exhibit represents the best work of the association as each piece was chosen by a panel of prominent Canadian art experts, says Webster.
Eleanor Milne, a panel member, was Canada’s first female dominion sculptor. As such, she was responsible for Parliament Hill’s sculptural work from 1962 until her retirement in 1993. She says she was impressed by the individuality expressed in each piece. As a panelist, “I don’t base my judgment on technical merit,” says Milne. “I try to understand what the artist is saying to me as a viewer.” And viewers are flocking to the show.
Webster says the success of the exhibit has surpassed his own expectations – especially the exhibit’s Oct. 12 opening night, which was attended by over 200 people. He says he can only hope the exhibit’s Oct. 26 auction will be as well-attended. The money raised from the auctioned sculptures will be donated this year to the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa and will help fund the Club’s arts programming. The Network, he says, has already raised $2,000 for the organization. Webster says the reaction from the public is positive. “As artists, we spend a lot of time working alone and don’t get a lot of accolades,” he says. “So it’s nice to share our work because sculpture is the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas to the public.”
Bill Lepper, a B.C. native who travels the world in search of art, says he’s impressed by the creative energy of the show. A self-described “art lover,” Lepper says the work excites him because it’s both meditative and action-oriented, but not contrived.
The venue, located on the Rideau River, only adds to the exhibit, he says. “I think the setting for the show is spectacular – the water backdrop makes an ideal setting,” says Lepper. “The natural light is wonderful.”
Robin Montcalm, an “art appreciator,” says it’s great to see such a diverse mix of ideas and art coming together in one show. She says the city should offer more events like it. “I think there should be more emphasis placed on our homegrown talents and artists.”