Theresa Randles

Artist's Statement

My own art is a recent experience for me. I have always represented the female form, and rendered it realistically. Through the years, as I raised a family and taught art at the Secondary School level, my work was restricted to doing studies and honing technical skills. I did not find the energy or focus for personal expression.

In recent years, direction and meaning have come together for me. These come as a result of the volunteer work I have chosen to be involved in, largely dealing with women's and human rights issues. I have, at this age, been making a long and slow move towards self-actualization. In retirement, I have the ability to put a great deal of time and energy towards what I want to say.

I have been working both in a variety of sculpture media and in encaustic. I find a wonderful balance between these two disciplines; finding both equally satisfying and complementary. I enjoy juxtaposing pieces dealing with the female form and pieces representing natural forces/forms.

Fabric is used symbolically in my work to represent social, political or religious forces that impose themselves on oneself. I systematically remove and disassemble the fabric, representing a shedding of externally or self-imposed identity. Pieces of fabric are sometimes emptied shells, just as a husk or pod or sac in nature represents a growth or blossoming. Other times remnants of fabric are washed or blown away by the forces of nature. Removing layers represents a process of self-discovery. Who am I? What do I believe?

I was surprised that this process of shedding layers took me into works filled with universal, organic forms in which 'woman' becomes an integral part of the 'whole' of existence. This is, in fact a reflection of my personal philosophy.