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Sassona Norton


I sculpt the figure to express yearning. I am intrigued by inner conflicts and the ability to overcome what seems insurmountable. Although these aspects of the human condition are timeless  - their expressions change with time.

 

Life now is imbedded in increased uncertainty, mobility and isolation. These aspects have prompted a new dictionary of aesthetic forms that deliver a message of rawness, "process" and speed. No longer anecdotal, pleasing and "finished", the contemporary figure reflects on old issues in a manner which anchors it in the here and now.

 

My over-life-size standing-alone figures are contemporary in their interpretation. I use bronze-casting method to create un-decorative figures that convey their raw truth in rough, scarred and "grated" surface. Their universality strips them from any detail of time and place, but their struggle between strength and vulnerability sends out a current voice.

 

My choice of gender serves the statement: males carry a single dominant quality, while females embody a sense of duality. In contemporary life, I find that females’ conflict has taken a new expression: while their muscularity and large size reflects on the gender’s newly acquired strength, their movement continues to convey vulnerability.  I exaggerate both aspects and increase the emotional nakedness by leaving the women bald.

 

Sculpting parts of the body - hands in particular - is a way of "framing" the message.  Physically, the hands are the paragon of a movement and the quickest to react; architecturally, they are versatile as they change their appearance with every movement; and emotionally, they are often used for gestures of conflict and yearning.  As standing alone sculptures, hands lose their gender’s identity and act as a metaphor of enduring desire to reach out and connect. 

 

Connectedness is what we have lost – and yearn for.  It is a wonderful testament to human resolve that experiencing life with greater anxiety has not diminished the power of yearning.  Although it stems from absence, yearning holds the promise that in the conflict between reality and desire – desire wins to take us beyond current boundaries.

 

-Sassona Norton


Memories of Sweetness - 2004
Unquenchable Thirst - 2004
At the Service of Others - 2008
Touch - 2006
An Hour Before Dawn
To Whom Do I Pray
Fleeting Light (detail)
Fleeting Light
The Last of Summer (detail)
9/11 Memorial - Montgomery County Courthouse, PA - 2005
First Rain - 2002
The Last of Summer