I created this piece, “The Dance Warrior”, several months ago, but it was just brought back to mind because of a visit from a very special friend…
I spent three months at the beginning of 2016 at the Incarnate program in Italy, working intensely with more than 25 other artists from 11 different nations all around the world. The artists included dancers, musicians and visual artists from many different disciplines. The focus of the program was not so much on developing our technical skills as artists (though we did get a lot of time to practice those skills), but on our identity and voice as artists — understanding ourselves, our faith, our identity and our call to speak truth to the world around us.
Much of the sculptural work which I have done in the time since then has been inspired, either directly or indirectly, by the lessons learned there, and the mostly young artists I spent the time walking along side of.
Sara Ying, coming to us from Taiwan, was one of the truly amazing young ballet and contemporary dancers in the group. I don’t know that I have ever seen such explosive energy and passion as she would unleash when she hit the stage. Her final exhibition piece for the program was titled, “Dance Warrior”. One of the photographers who joined the team for the last couple of weeks to record some of the stories from the school was able to capture a beautiful image from her performance.
I was so struck by the image, and by what I knew of Sara and this particular dance piece that I decided to try to capture the energy and heart of this beautiful artist in a piece of my own sculptural art. Turning a dramatic photo (in 2D) into a sculpture (in 3D) is no small feat, but believe I was able to do them justice.
Since that time, I have been waiting for an opportunity to actually show the sculpture to Sara in person (as opposed to just seeing a photo of it on Facebook). Just this week, I was finally able to bring the two of them together as Sara came to Atlanta for a week’s visit to see some of her Incarnate friends here.
Thank you, Sara, for your vibrant faith, your tender heart and your passion to see your gifts used for the Kingdom!