By Nancy A French
Finding art all around me in the natural world is a reminder of how small and insignificant my artwork is all by itself. A spider web or an interesting branch, a sunrise or the sun dappled woods, every moment there is something to see. When I look out into my backyard I see years of work by both people and nature that culminate in an ever changing landscape. That is a little bit of the feeling I get when I go into Gallery 529. Each little thing by itself, while amazing or interesting to look at, is nothing too remarkable. But taken as a whole, there is so much to look at whenever I walk into the gallery, that it is indeed spectacular.
I can not imagine all of the work that it takes to create each piece of art multiplied by all of the art in the gallery. So many hours, days, weeks and years of creativity and experience all under one roof. Just in my space alone, hundreds of hours of work went into creating all of the pieces on display. The experience that is represented there is enormous. Starting when I was a child with projects and crafts, continuing on into my teenage years when I was a florist and gardener, then to North Bennet Street School to learn furniture making. This was followed by teaching woodworking at a high school and at summer camps, resident woodworker internship at a craft school, workshops in blacksmithing, dulcimer making oval box making, basket weaving, and chair making; and building furniture in a group shop. Raising 4 children and seeing their imaginations at work has also added to my experience. Along the way, seeing all of the clothing being recycled just in my own home led me to think about creative uses for all of those worn out garments. Burning wood in the winter to heat my house gave me the ideas and material I needed for the tree houses. It just goes on and on.
When you purchase one of my Tiny Tree Houses, a Branch Sculpture, a Pair of Mittens or a Puppet, you are not just buying something that was made by my hands, it was also created by my experience. I would not be making the things that I make if I had not had all of those experiences throughout my life. I would be creating something. I don't know what that would be, but one thing is for sure, it would be something interesting to look at or nice to touch.