Temples of New Plastic was an eight sculpture installation built to reenact a cityscape I dreamt about. In the dream, I was told the buildings were made of an engineered plastic made from mushrooms, which grew from the ground, were inhabited as homes, then aged and decomposed to give life to the next buildings. This cradle-to-grave technology was admirable but I also recognized that the buildings had armored windows, which spoke of continuing civil unrest despite the advanced technology of this imagined community.
"Temples of New Plastic", series of bronze sculptures by Courtney Brown, approx. 12" h
In the creation of a visual language for my sculpture, I have found influences in many cultures around the world and in many time periods.
The symbology of the Raven is fascinating in every iteration it appears, from the Native American belief of Raven creating the world, to the Celtic archetype of the Raven as a war harbinger and otherwordly messenger. Also attributed to the raven is what is attributed to all avians, the power of transformation, be that in a shamanic way or in a purely metaphoric way. I use the Raven as a reflection of the soul, with the possibility of redemption, from a world of war and toxicity. It is a symbol of hope.
The Wolf has many masks it wears, from enemy of man to foretellers of the future. I use the wolf to speak about the relationship of the past with the future. Wolf is eternal, forever interchangeable with mankind, as we have evolved side by side.
By using the slug or other insects in my sculpture, I am choosing what might be considered a lowly or hated life form. But as with so much of nature, what is one thing at first glance can be better understood with time and study. So I use the slug to represent myself and other people, in our many forms, like Grasping, as in grasping for our goals, or some conceptual ideal.