VIRGINIA FOLKESTAD • ARTIST TALK (excerpt) Solo Exhibition: ...noiseless foot of time Sandra Phillips Gallery 47 W. 11th Avenue Denver, Colorado May 4, 2019 As a way to explain my inspiration, I’m going to tell you a story about an artist I know. She told me about having spent her childhood in, what she called, a house without words. Her mother and father were evidently, very devoted to each other and she was an only child, there were no siblings to talk to, she was very much alone. There was definitely an economy of words in the household; no dinnertime conversation, no art talk, no philosophy of life, no general conversation, not much of anything verbally. She told me that when she was maybe 6 years old, she spent a lot of time carving out hidden spaces in her backyard bushes and arranging those spaces for play. She thinks when she was about 8 years old, she often climbed a huge Carob tree in her front yard and built an area for play in those enormous, thick branches, not with extra lumber but just by knowing the intricacies of the tree and choosing the perfect place to be...she says she can still feel the nuances of those branches...that memory of touch. She lived in the same bungalow with Modernist furnishings her whole childhood but had no other family connection to art or design. Some of her happiest memories, she says were when she was drawing and painting and she has a clear memory of the excitement she felt when an adult babysitter, helping her with a coloring book, introduced the idea that she must keep the crayon color within the lines. Always feeling out of place in her childhood situation, she left home when she was 17 for a distant college. She remembers only her painting and drawing classes from those first college years and really had no career direction but was driven to learn. After two years of college, she married and continued her education in a non-traditional way, only learning what she was truly interested in. Along the way, she was attracted to the structure, texture and especially the tools of weaving. She became strongly interested in objects, such as those weaving tools and she began weaving less and constructing weaving tools more. She also began making wooden outdoor furniture with hand tools, while questioning and learning where her aptitudes and interests were leading her. At this time, she had no idea that there were female never crossed her mind that she could combine her 2 dimensional art experience with another dimension. After a few years when her children were older, she returned to college where she learned about women and sculpture through the work of artists like Louise Nevelson and Louise Bourgeois. She learned what was happening in the world of Conceptual Art at that time through the work of David Ireland and she learned about Installation Art through the work of Ann Hamilton and others. In this second iteration of college, she was introduced to new skills that hadn’t been offered to her before, such as welding, forging and woodworking and she embraced the idea of non-functional / conceptual objects and Installations. She had found her place. Some of you have probably already guessed that I’m that artist and that is an abbreviated version of my early life. I use it here to illustrate certain early occurrences in my life that have continued throughout and led me to make art that’s authentic to me. I see those very early memories of the comfort of nature, the organization of physical space and the absence of words as the beginnings of how I make art today: Building natural spaces devoid of verbal language but rather, infused with visual language. To quote Delmore Schwartz: *Alchemy / change / Time is the fire in which we burn.” ©2019 Virginia Folkestad Sculptor LLC