Michele Dickson, an American surrealist made self-portraits sculpture series from driftwood she collected along the way from Baltimore to Washington DC trail. Mixes of plasters, oil paint, wax and wood create a fusion of unique colors.
Their surfaces and natural cracks showcase connection between the body and its natural surroundings. In her sculpture series of Neither Mine Not yours, she cleverly merges the materials to appear as her own self-portrait showing typical decay and disorder in nature, yet, all her series seem to be a representation of people’s memory or experience.
As she mentions in her artist’s statement, Dickson believes that her work is about forgetting, remembering and unstable manner of memory. And the space she uses often relates with how people feel about recollections of psychological background. She’s into the resemblance of physical state and textures people have in their phases of life. For her, lines of rivers may look just like highways, similar to that of our veins or root structures. Ruined walls are representations of time and trace of human existence.
Often some viewers can be tempted to feel and touch the unusual figures. Unlike familiar faces we often find in public. Some faces are ruined and half-covered with driftwood or those like ones found as debris. Will the wounds of time in the face be healed with our touch?
As Dickson once puts it in her site, she sees the vigorous relation between the object and the beholders and she also wonders how the incompetence to touch can cause similar imperceptibility of memory. Taking the faces away from its body is meant to create an anxiety of forgetting. We end up wondering where the heads are from, where they belong to, who help them get there and so forth. Eventually, when adding human elements to natural objects, we will be inspired to come up with a question: What shall we become of?