I was aware of Weir Farm long before I ever had the opportunity to go there, having vicariously visited (as many of us have) through its depiction in many paintings. I believe it existed for me purely in my imagination. A collective memory built from my exposure to painted images, illusionary surfaces, windows with a context and a view all their own. When actually visiting the Farm, I was overwhelmed by a different kind of realit: a powerful presence of place based on physical senses. The warmth of the sun on my face, the buzz of an insect lighting on my brow, the feel of a rough stone on my down turned palm, all sensations beyond vision.
I found myself on a lengthy investigative journey. Examining the ethereal existence of the place and the legendary figures of art that inhabited the place, versus the actual existence of the land and those artists of the past as fellow living beings. The aim for me was to make real the physicality of the place and the human bodies that worked at the Farm, as if after listening to the Arthurian legends for a lifetime to then visit Camelot for oneself. Could one reconcile these worlds? This was my task.
As a sculptor I strive to make my impressions tangible by actually occupying three-dimensional space. Something to touch and move around, like the actual experience one has when encountering Weir Farm. Not only addressing the place with vision, but with touch and movement through actual stone, wood and soil of landscape that is the Farm.
Hopefully in creating tangible objects that we view today, I have created a feeling of connection, a moment of aesthetic arrest for the contemporary audience. Thus, joining us spiritually with this very special place that is Weir Farm and those human entities that have passed through it before us.
MARK MAKER (WEIR FARM STELE) detail, 2001
|Steven Dolbin is a recognized sculptor and published art educator who has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Britain. Mr. Dolbin received his MFA with honors from the Pratt Institute and has been awarded several grants including a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Mr. Dolbin has participated in many solo and group exhibitions including a retrospective of his work at the Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College, Amherst, MA; Canal Gallery, Holyoke, MA; Appalachian State University, Boone, NC; and the William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, among many other venues. His work is included in numerous private and public collections and has been written about in The New York Times, Sculpture Magazine, and more. A former resident of Connecticut, he has taught sculpture at many institutions throughout New England including the University of Connecticut, The University of Massachusetts and Amherst College. Mr. Dolbin is currently a full-time professor of sculpture and three-dimensional design at Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA. He and his wife Robin and their sons Reece and Collin are currently constructing a new studio and home in Shippensburg.|