Dorsey James, Sculptor





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The Importance of Art & Aesthetics in forming Places

Dorsey James

I see art as being a visual language and, like any other language, there are many different ways to say the same thing. Art is, too, a reflection of who and what we are at any one given point in time. Art can be reflective of our past, our present and/or perhaps our future. I believe this to be the case if we are being truthful and honest with ourselves. I, also, believe that the more truthful and honest with ourselves we are, then the greater the chances are of our touching on universal aspects of the lives of others.
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When I sculpt, I use the material, the subject matter, size, projection and recession, texture, pattern, line, light and shadow etc. to speak. These are visual words that I use to bear my emotions, perspectives and perhaps, my objectives. These words seek to communicate with the viewer of my art as well as embrace the environment in which is placed.

Home Place takes into account many aspects of who I was, who I am and to some degree who I might someday be. For instance, Home place takes into account the fact that I love a good story. This is perhaps because my family could not afford to have a television so mom told us stories, usually biblical, which we learned to see very clearly with our mind's eye. It takes into account my love of wood, especially the idea of recycling discarded material and giving it, all that old growth wood, a new life as art. These and many other aspects of Home Place seem to have struck a familiar cord with the community. They too love a good story behind each piece. They too are drawn not only to the beauty and warmth of the wood but as well to the texture, pattern, line, flow projection, recession, the form, the implication of life, movement and timelessness that all work to make it expressive art. They've even expressed appreciation for the vulnerability and delicacy and accessibility of the pieces as it somehow adds to the uniqueness and hence the value that they place on their community place.

One of the objectives in the original Home Place proposal stated that, "It is not to be an art structure to be gazed upon for a few weeks or months and then forgotten. Home Place is designed to be a participatory work of art." Home Place has proven to be just that. Visitors and tourists from a wide age and cultural spectrum visit Home Place repeatedly. Their reasons are their own. The bottom line is that Home Place has generated within the community a sense of ownership, popularity and pride, which exceeds initial expectations. The usage of this art installation has been high and the vandalism has been nil. Home Place attracts many visitors and tourists who make use of Home place as:

  • A unique place to bring visiting friends and relatives when showing off the community

  • A place for contemplating

  • A place for marriage

  • A place for creating

  • A place for teaching

  • A place for learning

  • A place for photographing

  • A place for communicating

  • A place for renewing

  • A place for just being

The art at Home Place enhances our waterfront and serves as a vehicle through which Pickering exhibits appreciation of its heritage, history and cultural diversity. The aesthetics that it incorporates and inspires creates for our community a sense of place and space that is unique to our City of Pickering and, indeed, our Province of Ontario.

  All text and images on this site are © 2007, Dorsey James
Site design and maintenance: Hatch Media
January 29, 2007