NOT LIGHT, BUT THE EXPERIENCE OF LIGHT.
When Ronald Watson lived in Michigan during the 1970s his studio was on the second floor of a building with high ceilings. The largest windows faced a dense grove of trees south of the building. In the winter the bare deciduous trees allowed the sunlight to pass directly into the studio through the tall narrow windows. He became aware of the passage of the sun and of the varied quality of light throughout the year. The artist recounts, “The five years I spent in that studio are barely a wink in the eternal cycle of the planets, but I became aware of the differences in objects’ appearance under the ever-changing sunlight. My studio was a solar planetarium and my thoughts began to react to my awareness of the mutability of light”.
Watson uses common materials like stone, metal, wood, paint and wax to bring attention to the order that surrounds us and is within us. He aims to elevate the mind and the heart above quotidian details by making art concerned with eternal questions. What is the nature of the cosmos and how can it be understood? If it began with the Big Bang, what forces were at work to create symmetry, regularity and consistency? Watson uses systems of structure such as webs, lattices, and grids that float in space to address these questions in personal labyrinths and networks of possibilities. Each is a synthesis of organic materials and abstractions of the rational mind. Later he said, “When I feel the angles in my sculpture with my hands, my body verifies the trueness, solidity and accuracy of them. Touching confirms seeing.”
His works are objects in this world and worlds in themselves.