During my training in art therapy at Tobias School of Art and Therapy I felt a strong affinity to form and its expression in three dimensions. This led me to a further three years study with Gertraud Goodwin at the Hoathly Hill Sculpture Studio. I experienced this as not only a place to create sculpture but also as having a warm, supportive and social quality. Since 1998 I have been working at the Studio and giving tuition. Some people come to learn about sculpture; others come for a transformational and transpersonal experience.
Nature inspires me. The study of its form elements and formative forces gives me the basis for my teaching. Rudolf Steiner’s deep insight into nature forces gives me further insights.
In my own artistic work I often get ideas from my work as art therapist. The transformation in therapy becomes a metaphor for my own work. Working with slates from disused slate mines in North Wales, old sea defence posts and reclaimed oak stimulates my work.
Artistic work is like a conversation with the material that has individuality, a history, and a story to tell. In listening I create something new. I can enhance the existing movement, curves, and expression of what is in the piece. The completion is as though the sculpture sings a song, a melody. (See sculptures RIVER OF LIFE and SECRET OF THE PAST.) Sometimes stones break unexpectedly and this becomes an opportunity to form something new (See sculpture TOGETHERNESS).
At present I am exploring the human torso with its different movements, emotions and feelings with gentle gestures. I am researching the differences between sympathy, compassion and empathy. I am studying how the human body has been expressed in sculpture with its harmonious proportion, movement and different soul expressions. I have had to go back in time in order to go forward. How should I express the human body now in the 21rst century?
For the last 20 years I also have been working as a sculpture therapist, using sculpture for therapy. Working with clay, stone and wood can be of great benefit for children and adults with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and chronic illness.
Doing sculpture offers clarity and stability, brings connection to the physical body and helps people to connect to their dormant self healing and creative potential. Working creatively stimulates inner change and development.
Surry Sculpture Society – Maria Albiez