In Elisa Adams’ hands, the rigid material of stone comes to life and forms fluid, organic shapes that dance with energy.
“Challenging the stone to survive thin, curving, delicate expanses seems contrary to the medium.
Transforming the unmovable to pliability is what I strive in my art and in my life.”
Self taught, Elisa Adams began sculpting as a means to “re find” the beauty in life and quiet her inner and outer worlds. Adams draws inspiration from nature and meditation, places where she finds quiet and connection. Her current body of work is a tapestry of her journey as a sculptor, including elements from her abstract pieces, nature influenced works, and figurative sculpture.
“I want the viewer to see the weaving from these 3 inspirations of my work. To see the curves of a
woman’s body in the abstract leaf, for example.”
The spiraling crevices of a seashell, the curling petals of a calla lily, and the subtle contour where hip meets waist are all forms present in Adams’ sculpture. Walking around each piece, one finds the balance between hard and soft, nature and construction, and the peace experienced by the artist as she brings the stone to life, chip by chip.
My fascination with the ocean and nature’s shapes, inspire my work. The power of the natural world is so well represented in stone. Even on a microscopic level, fundamental shapes give inspiration to the abstract work. The curves, hidden openings and spirals are seen throughout my body of work. Having taken a trip to Italy to study, I have journeyed into the human form. I am creating pieces both literal and abstract.
I enjoy all of the challenges and possibilities, from contemplating what is in the stone, to actually hammering and chiseling it out, and roughly filing. Watching the process unfold and seeing the piece emerge is the most exciting. Finishing the piece by hand sanding is a balance between tedium and appreciation of the richness of the stone, which is exposed as it becomes smoother.
The creative process is an exciting mystery to me. Beyond the time that I have my hands on the stone, the whole process of contemplating of what I want to accomplish can take weeks, months or even a couple years, before I know I am done.
Coming from an immigrant family, being first generation Albanian American, my first love, art, as a career, was strongly discouraged. After 30+ rewarding years of being a Doctor of Chiropractic, I was starting to wonder if I wanted something more in my life. The death of a dear friend was the final motivation to do what made my heart sing, make art. I saw a course in stone sculpture at the Decordova Museum School, and signed up.
I was drawn to the strength of stone and that it allows another sense to create with, touch. Stones have a reality of their own. Their colorations, opacities and shapes influence me as to what I will create.
To see it, is one thing, but for me to be able to touch it, gives my process another dimension. Following the paths, mounds and curves of the piece with my hands allows for rich imaginings.