This medium, found object assemblage, begins with the finding and selection of objects. The process of selection involves noticing the reflective qualities of an object. For an object is like a mirror that reflects its travel through time. The object’s creator and all those who have touched and used it, as well as exposure to the elements, have all left their mark. The growth and decay of natural objects are likewise reflected in their state and condition. I am drawn to an object by its reflected story or mystery. And so this medium is a collaboration between the artist and the forces and entities that have touched and altered these objects before him.
My studio is a treasure trove of selected objects. Sometimes I have found a beautiful object that is already a work of art. It is already in a state of aesthetic perfection and cannot be further enhanced or added to. To enter the assemblage process an object must be incomplete and in need of other objects to achieve an aesthetic fulfillment.
The studio process begins with my efforts at matchmaking various objects, moving them around into various combinations. Sometimes a match occurs when I put an object aside or back on a shelf and it lands next to something “by accident” and sparks start flying.
But I don’t start with an idea and look for objects to comply with it. I use the objective approach, meaning letting the objects and their relationships lead the way. This is more adventurous and unpredictable. It takes me places outside of my familiarity zone. With a new finished piece before me I am as surprised an delighted as a mother looking down at her new born child.
J. Thomas Wells