The artwork and sculpture of Joyce Steinfeld
I worked on bringing my individual artwork together, by linking the artwork with a poem in a book. This brings a sense of closure for me to the collected work of this series of pieces. Now I am free to move on, and explore and grow and change with the things that interest me in the Present. I am beginning to explore the human form and its powerful associations by making abstract shapes change into reflections of the human body.
To summarize, I create Contemporary and Imaginative artwork and sculpture using abstract shapes, abstractions of the human figure and interpretations of language symbols from many cultures including Hebrew, Chinese, Punjabi and Arabic. My artwork is a door to the Divine, intending to be sign posts pointing to spiritual meanings. They bring an awareness, and a chance to stop and connect in a deeper way to the world.
My artwork is a culmination of a life time of asking myself what it means to be an artist and how it will manifest and effect our civilization.
The Long Story.......
I have been an artist all my life, and as far back as I can remember I knew that this was my life talent.
As I grew up, and became an adult, I was also interested in things that were spiritual in nature.
My art and my spiritual life seemed to be two different parts of me, and I did not see any connection between them.
When you start working on a new direction in an art career you may not have at the beginning all the skills / techniques and knowledge that you will discover along the exploration of this new art form. The joy you find is in discovering the path and learning new things. I began my 3 dimensional collages, in 2001/2002. I had a desire to make art in what is considered the Fine Art Category, and I thought this would be a way of using the jewelry and accessory parts that I designed and amassed over my many years as a Designer. The first collages that I made, I framed under glass, because the way I constructed the parts was fragile and I needed to protect the surface from damage. I photographed the collages and made prints of the photographed images. In the next group I removed the glass, and I used resin to stabilize the parts. I also began to add painting, and by covering the painted area with resin, it enhanced the beauty of the painting and its durability. Later, I started another series of these collages, but boxed them up and put them away for a number of years. There was something important missing and I was not sure what the answer was.
I was then introduced to the Hebrew Alphabet, and became aware that each letter was more then a letter shape with a sound, there were spiritual meanings attached to each letter. I have taken each letter and have redrawn it in my own shape, resulting that I created my own font style of the Hebrew Alphabet. This became a life altering event for me, for in exploring the shapes and forms of the letters I also began studying the meanings of the letters and my spiritual interests and artistic interests became unified in the expression of my art work. I began to use Hebrew Words and letters in my sculpture and fine art prints. Then a light went off in my mind and I knew how to finish the collage works that I had boxed up and stored away. They would become backdrops for hebrew letters and words that I was working with at the present. I added the glass covering again, but this time it was to contain and add a sense of presence and importance to the work.
When I create art, I believe the instructions or inspiration for the creation are divinely inspired. When I create art I try to clear my mind and allow the instructions that I need to create the art work to flow from me. I try not to judge, I try not to use my critical mind that whispers in my ear that this is good, or this is bad. I try to open myself up and have no judgement about what I will create. It is almost like meditation, when you clear your mind of all thoughts and allow the inspirations to come through you. You just do it, without any judgment. Trust your spiritual inspirations, for they will surprise you with creative gifts that are greater then anything that you can force or plan.
Letters and words in every language are magical. In the Torah Genesis 2 verse 19, “And the Lord God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name.” Having the ability to name something, is what language is. It is what sets us above all the other living creatures. We give names to everything that surrounds us, even our thoughts, that do not have a physical existence, but when they are named have a solid existence in a spiritual sense. It is because of these names that we can communicate with each other. Letters and words are symbols that we give part of our life energy to. They can become as solid as the chair that we sit in.
I live in the United States, California, and I am very lucky to live in a multi cultural society. We have access to a melting pot of diverse cultures from around the world. My interest in Chinese character art comes from learning and practicing Tai Chi, which is an ancient Chinese movement meditation, a recent trip to mainland China, and becoming close friends with people from Asian ancestry, who are interested in and collect my artwork.
One way I work with a word, is to use it in context within a 3D collage. When you say a word, it brings up an image in your mind, with all the related points of view that you have attached to the word. In the 3D collage of the “Chinese character Lucky”, I have given it a sub title of “Being open to Luck when it comes your way.” The collage is bright and sparkly, with lots of energy and excitement. Depending on your point of view, we can attract luck into our life or it is a random experience that we have no control over. In either case, we need the awareness to see it and act upon it in an appropriate way to take advantage of this event in time.
As a human race, we have developed many languages because of our isolation from each other. Language symbols are the first art work, and many of the ancient languages were pictographic or derived from a picture of an object. My interest and introduction into Chinese Characters comes from the fact that we are beginning to live in a global community and the ideas and cultural development of the people that we live and work with, that originate from other cultures are beginning to come together into a global identity of one humanity. I think that this is a good thing. It is what will save our planet. We must begin to see ourselves as one humanity, living on one planet that we must take care of and nurture. Our point of view must change, we must see that we are not different. We are really the same, with the same hopes, aspirations and desires to be happy and to live on a healthy and safe world.