Phillip Shore received his MFA from the University of Notre Dame and his BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He is currently an associate professor of art at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. Mr. Shore has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, attended an international sculpture symposium in the Republic of Georgia. He has received grants from the State of Michigan and Arts America as well as being awarded a Haggar Scholar Award through the University of Dallas.
His sculptures are included in many public and private collections including: Racine Museum of Art, Racine, Wisconsin
Chicago Park District, Palmer Park, Chicago, Illinois
Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
City of Fort Smith Arkansas
Rustavi International Sculpture Park, Rustavi, Republic of Georgia
Akin, Gump P.C., Dallas, Texas
The subject of my art is based on the relationship humans have established with the physical world. Wendell Berry, in his 1989 essay Nature as Measure writes, “But we know too that nature includes us. It is not a place into which we reach from some safe standpoint outside it.” This quote speaks to the interconnectedness of all that exists; a concept that permeates my sculptures. Within my work I attempt to reconcile our western understanding of separation and domination of the laws of nature with the quite obvious oneness of the world.
I have inherited an objective removal in experiencing my surroundings, a scientific type of distancing from the world that I inhabit. The urban and sub-urban environments we have built revolve around our social and economic needs setting up an ever-increasing level of separation. The grid and geometric designs are reflections of our need to order. We look on with strange fascination at aboriginal cultures and those who retreat from contemporary society to live in remote locales.
Conversely, when I am sitting on the riverbank I am conscious of the lack of straight lines, how the deer path mimics the meander of the stream. I, like the raccoon, the heron and the deer, have my actions documented in the moist soils that confine the water only to be washed away as the stream rises with the next rain. The beaver has gnawed away the base of the tree upon which I rest my back; perhaps I interrupted his labor. I feel and understand that I am connected to the rhythm of the planet.
Entering the studio is analogous to working in the vegetable garden. My exploration of ideas is a process of sowing, germinating and nurturing to maturity. In developing forms and compositions, my process involves a balance between reason and intuition mediated by formal concerns. When I enter the studio, I am not consciously considering the information gleaned from outside but rather I begin to create parts, i.e. carving insect wings, casting body parts, bending wood into spirals and helixes, carving pod forms… intuitively responding, exploring. As the work progresses, these elements join together in compositions that speak to my overarching thesis: the interconnected relationship of humans and nature. Oneness.
This work emerges from a personal investigation, an exploration seeking my place in this natural system. The work is neither declarative nor didactic but is rather evidence of the journey.
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