Travis WintersAsheville, North Carolina

A story or account of events and experiences, true or fictitious, are the building blocks of a narrative. Throughout the history of time, stories and narratives have been used as a tool to pass on rich history, customs, and culture from generation to generation. Narrative storytelling has served as a guide for children on proper behavior, formation of a communal identity, and values. From tall-tales to scholarly journals, narratives are one of the main ways humans communicate and record history. Often these stories will engulf the imagination of the viewer, occurring in the creation of vivid and detailed imagery. Because narrative tales are often left without explicit meanings, people act as participants in the process by delving deeper into the open-ended story and making their own interpretations. These stories are often told over and over again; slightly altering each time they are passed on, creating numerous renditions of the same story. Through generating stories around characters, intimate connections with the audience are formed. From these bonds, emotions such as compassion, anger, frustration, and happiness, arise and enhance the perception of each character. Narratives leave room for countless interpretations while engaging viewers and readers to relate the themes, whether real or fantastical, to everyday life.

With my work I am constructing characters, each focused on their own individual story. Captivating the imagination of the viewer, I invite the fabrication of narratives and encourage a personal connection with the characters and stories. The conversation between viewer and figure encourages various interpretations, all while relating the narrative back to themes of everyday life and experiences. Also by using the tactile quality clay to sculpt my figures, I am able to mimic the feeling of softness or fleshiness. By stimulating one’s sense of touch, I persuade a closer investigation of each character. By modeling animated figures with exaggerated folds and wrinkles, I am creating a thought provoking visceral experience. Through my work, the viewer can experience a narrative in a way alternative to the typical written or spoken word. Viewers engage their imaginations with each piece and develop narrative stories for themselves to pass on to others.