I’m asking ceramic artist Cathy Reeves – who was originally a documentary filmmaker – what she thinks it is about her whales and turtles that capture and hold our attention.
She says she can’t speak for others but that for her, it’s the fact they’re prehistoric, “at risk” and in some sense, magical.
When I sculpt a whale, and particularly my favourite the Humpback, I imagine it moving. They’re so birdlike.
And her words make my own thoughts fly.
It occurs to me that artists aren’t just delivering some form of reality. They’re igniting our imaginations, tapping into our emotions.
Lots of collectors buy Cathy’s sculptures but I’m curious about how children respond, kids being the ultimate litmus test.
Cathy smiles and says her own kids often say: ”Oh mommy, don’t sell that.”
Cathy also visits schools to introduce kids to her work and says that when she tells them about the plight of sea turtles, for instance (how they can mistake plastic shopping bags for jellyfish, with deadly results) the kids respond with genuine sympathy and concern.
I witnessed that sense of wonderment and concentration myself recently.
Cathy’s work was on display at the pottery show in South Glengarry, where one of her pieces depicted a fossilized baby dinosaur lying in its egg. While admiring the piece, I happened to glance down and took note of the little girl standing beside me.
“Do you like that?” I asked. And she responded with an enthusiastic bounce of her ponytail.
Cathy says that when she originally finished the dinosaur, her own daughter said: ”Mommy, I just have to hold it.”
I think I know how Cathy’s daughter felt.
And remember: If there’s Art in what you do, I want to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Cathy Reeves’ work, click HERE.