Author (Your Name)

Matthew Burke, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Art Dept.




I pursued the senior scholar project under the title and thought, Figurative Sculpture and Drawing. While studying sculpture and drawing, I spent time coming to know their basic languages and exploring a variety of media in each. Throughout the year, I worked with a figurative subject, addressing ideas proposed last fall; including sculptural elements like volume, mass, line, and balance; and various drawing techniques. I set up the proposal within a loose framework which allowed the project to evolve as I pursued the work. It also encouraged me to think freely and without reservation, because I was not bound to any planned pattern. As a result, the project evolved far beyond the original conception. I explored new techniques of building sculpture such as, linear and massive construction; and pushed the drawings to include issues such as, the creation of illusional space and controlling the value. Also, this year's project demanded I work from both inspiration and discipline. But ultimately, I realized the process of creating sculpture was most important because it formed the pieces and gave them life. As such, when a piece is complete, the process becomes the piece and the piece the process. I pursued a full year's study of the figure because I am intrigued with the body's messages as communicated through its gestures and actions. For instance, when people are sad, they tend to hold their body in a 'sad' posture, by folding in on themselves. If a person were being self assertive, he/she would stand and make the boundaries of his/her personal space very clear. People's deeper messages can be understood by observing their postures rather than the spoken word. In a sense, I am pursuing a "body language" in my work.


Sculpture, Human figure in art

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