A circular course into the “Ephemeral” deep woods

“Going to FIT took me deep into the woods. I’d wake up early to see the sunrise before catching the train.  I started dragging in logs to play with in sculpture class. My professor, Suikang Zhao, never questioned it.” -BFA Fine Arts graduate Carly Fitzsimons from Commack, Long Island.

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Carly Fitzsimons’ senior thesis “Ephemeral,” was constructed to be a meditative environment of logs and marble. As artist, she acted as “the shaman who turns ordinary life into a ritual process,” as stated by mythologist Joseph Campbell.  Shamans, or “the first artists,” transform reality, in the sense that “daily life becomes a mystical ritual,” according to Fine Arts Professor Suikang Zhao. “Carly’s installation has that kind of humanity in it,” says Zhao.

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Carly’s generation thinks differently,” says Prof. Zhao. “They aren’t limited to one location. Their ideas jump around. It’s a fragmentation. They’re piecing things together.  It’s not about country or urban; it’s about transforming their environment. They can walk down the street and think about nature. It’s not about the immediate reality.”

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Of her technique Carly says, “It’s about revealing the continuity of energy. I chose to burn the wood to alter the color and to carve the wood to alter the form. I didn’t use any glue or  paint. Everything is balanced by gravity.”

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Carly Fitzsimons with “Ephemeral”

She “bypasses the present,” says Prof. Zhao. “It’s not just about ‘I love nature,’ but transforming the local immediacy to a bigger concept of where are we going.”

The installation will eventually go outdoors where it will eventually decompose.

For now “It reflects what I see when I look at a log. It’s a home of a bug, the foundation for a new flower. It’s not merely a dead log,” says Carly “In a culture that’s so throw-away, we forget that nothing disappears.”

“I see her work as going back to a very long past, to things that look like Stonehenge and prehistoric art. Those artists worked to personify an object,” says Prof. Zhao.

“A ceremonial forest,” says Carly.

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