CALIBAN: The snake’s rattling sound was spine chilling. My hiking partner jumped. She might have ended up in my lap if I had one. Walking briskly, our focused conversation had locked us into a state of mindlessness of our surroundings. Fear intercepted, abruptly suspending our chit chat. It was then that I was, unexpectedly, truly present in the woods, climbing on top of unique and rare bedrock, brilliant morning sunlit on Lake Maratanza, one of the Shawangunk Ridge’s finest glacial lakes. Fear’s trade off was a momentary personal transformation when every tree, flower, thorn, blueberry, puddle, bird and insect was woven into nature’s design. The smells and the sounds underscored the drama, as if I had suddenly become an islander in a Shakespeare play.
William Shakespeare’s ,The Tempest, is set on an island where the entire play takes place in a day. The main character, Prospero, is exiled to this island, along with his young daughter, Miranda. When he arrives he finds Caliban on the island, the son of a witch and eventually Prospero’s slave. Caliban is called barbarian, but his speeches are elegant. Like many of Shakespeare’s plays, there are stories within stories, and this one is no different, but the point here is the story of an islander who has been taught by both the Island’s natural resources, and by Prospero, who shares with him his knowledge and his books. Caliban is the product of his small but complex universe and is the creation of remarkable circumstances. His role in The Tempest, like the snake at Lake Maratanza, is at the core of his ecosystem. Remove him, and things fall apart. Stephen Greenblatt, in his introduction to the play, refers to him as a “victimized hero”.
Shakespeare is my current muse, and my work is made primarily of clay, with the addition of paint, epoxies, steel, glazes and smoke. Engaging my imagination and the characteristics of clay, I continuously resist the urge to control everything. I welcome the weird and wonderful stuff that happens all on it’s own.
Donghwa Ode Gallery will be exhibiting at ARTASPEN,
from the 13th to the 16th of August.
You can find us at Booth A15.
Our featured artists are:
Po Kim, Dae-Sung Park, John Mendelsohn, Claus Brunsmann,
Judy Sigunick, May Bender, Bong Jung Kim, & Kyung Youl Yoon