Cynthia Minden

Artist, Sculptor

 

Biography

I started as a basket maker in 1987, intrigued by the idea of containing space. Soon I started to make odd shaped vessels that could contain little more than one’s imagination. I’ve made hundreds of containers; call them shelters or nests, boats or baskets. Inspired, I learned papermaking and added it to my vessels as a skin, indulging in my love of collage. Then bees wax, gauze, plaster and pigments found their way into my work. This led to another evolution - rigid androgynous figurative forms, woven, sometimes with collage surfaces - then groupings of figures to create some kind of story.

Living next to marshland for the past 19 years informs my work. Chewed beaver sticks, seed pods, beach rocks, tree bark and rusty metal dug out from pasture have found a way into my pieces. Gathering plant materials from the area and combining pigments, papers, and found things allows me to portray the ordinary in another way. This process, reflecting the relocation from urban to rural surroundings, offers a method of documenting the outstanding physical beauty of my island home.

The conceptual forms I weave are tubular and hollow - airy columns, colored in hues of ocher, mahogany, terra cotta and ebony. The abstract figures and vessels may be reminiscent of natural or human-made architecture, clusters of underwater sea flora, the columnar forms of forests and towers, the remnants of a clear-cut landscape. I try to blur the boundaries between human form and other life forms. Sometimes, pod becomes vessel becomes human or something else, as yet unidentified... nature in transition.

Wire Dancers on the Deck, summer 2010

My Studio

Cynthia Minden, July 2011