Contemporary sculpture/steel, aluminum, bronze and wood/large and small scale/mixed media wall reliefs/all works referencing basic forms.




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Art and Engineering - Probing The Clockwork Of The Universe
by J. Pindyck Miller

Several of the early years of my childhood were spent within walking distance of New York City’s Museum of Natural History and the adjacent Hayden Planetarium. Installed on the ceiling of an anteroom to the planetarium dome was a working mechanical model of the solar system. I was mesmerized by this kinetic representation of the various planets and their moons, moving in their respective orbits about the stationary sun. Embodied within this one display were lessons in scale and increment, mechanics, materials and construction, architecture and design, all relevant factors, I would eventually discover, to the making of sculpture. In the Museum of Natural History were housed the immensely popular and fascinating reconstructions of dinosaur skeletons. Here too were compelling lessons in architecture, mechanics and construction.

A few years after these early childhood encounters, I had the opportunity to travel through the "nation’s breadbasket", across the great central plains. The seemingly limitless expanse of black dirt and wheat was occasionally relieved by roadside displays of agricultural machinery. Arrayed in ranks, the brightly painted tractors, harvesters and combines suggested to me a proud army of beasts, awaiting orders to march across the land. These unique machines, designed to facilitate the making of bread, the giving of life, seemed to me more magical than anything l'd ever seen in an art museum. These early encounters, and numerous others, with structures engineered by nature or by the mind of man, fired my interest in building and making and shaped my choices of methods and materials for sculpture.

My personal heroes were always such mavericks as the Wright brothers, Fulton, Bell, Eli Whitney, John Deere and McCormick, men who took the raw stuff of the earth and with it and a large pinch of imagination and a vision of something that had never been seen before, solved a real problem and thereby moved us all ahead. I have, in my travels envisioned Fulton churning up the Hudson, Bell hanging kites in the Nova Scotia sky, McCormick sweeping grain off the western plains and most vividly of all, the Wrights, stubborn and methodical, airborne at last at Kitty Hawk.

Many years into my adult family life and well started on my career in sculpture, I was seated with my family in a bleachers in rural Connecticut enjoying a symphonic concert. The dusk of evening had turned to dark, clear night when a wholly unexpected and amazing event unfolded before us. The brilliant arc of an ascending full moon appeared on the horizon. With the advantage of a propitious angle of sight and an exceptional clarity of atmosphere, the orb of the moon rolled into view as its projected light perfectly silhouetted the crest of a hillside, a long ridge bearing evenly spaced stands of trees. Each tree, serving as an increment on a scale, intersected in its turn the luminous arc of the moon as it hove increasingly into view. With astonishment, those of us who were observing this, realized that we were witnessing the turning of the earth in continuous, unbroken motion! I experienced a wrenching shift of reference so momentous that it seems still, to be beyond every day comprehension. No longer was my locus defined as in a bleachers seat in a place called Connecticut, nor on a continent called North America, nor in the Western Hemisphere. I was, for the first time in my life (and beyond my wildest imagining) perceiving myself as situated on the earth, 3rd planet in a Solar System, accompanied by a single moon, turning on an axis, whirling through space in orbit about the central sun. Actually, I experienced myself no longer bound by my connection to earth but as an actual part of the solar system and the star studded galaxy beyond. In the depths of my being, I imagined I could hear the ticking of the clockwork of the universe!

This was no model for a concept, no mechanical representation of natural forces, this was the thing itself; whole and fully revealed and magical and awesome! What art attempts, can only attempt, is this kind of revelation. The mind of man, whether through art or through science, seeks this order of revelation. We want to believe that each question answered brings us closer to revelation…but each answer only reveals more questions…and art and science go on.