Cary Weigand is an intuitive sculptor working in clay. She works with a muted color pallet to create quietly powerful imagery that reflects a holistic philosophical view of the world. The human and animal protagonists in her work are depicted with a focus on the emotion and inner life of the subject rather than a literal depiction of physical form. She begins with a heartfelt concept of an experience or thought, which is developed through the manipulation of material. The process of layering clay is a contemplative act that takes time and moves the piece on through a changing narrative to a moment in time where the form and meaning is resolved.
Her work is imbued by symbolic detail, spiritual traditions and mythologies drawn from childhood experience of growing up an a religiously diverse island. She remembers, “Visions of shrines ~ Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic ~ all within a block of each other, surrounded by ocean. I want to express their relationship with one another, but it’s even more about the way the ocean moves than the stories themselves”. She uses symbolic elements to explore death, rebirth and transition. This quietly spiritual work can often be interpreted as melancholic. When asked about this the artist responds, “I hope that what may appear as sadness is instead understood as quiet reverence. I hope for my work to be about listening and trying to understand instead of displays of power.”
Her work is an expression of seeking balance through the appreciation of small things, the flick of a dog’s whisker, the sound of the wind through the trees, shadows across the landscape. She feels a deep sense of interconnectivity with nature and animals, believing, “that we are part of a greater whole and nothing is separate.” She has had pets all her life and has a strong emotional bond to her dog, with dogs featuring regularly in her work. She explains that, “I think of my dog as a guardian spirit in my own life. This is why most of my sculptures incorporate these types of spirit entities as they exist externally and internally.”
Cary Weigand was born and raised in Hawaii. She earned both her Master and Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Hawaii and in 2006 she received a grant award from The George Sugarman Foundation for sculpture. Her work has been featured on PBS’s Oregon Art Beat, published in Ceramics Technical, and she was awarded one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists for 2011.