Leslie Zelamsky
Artist Statement

My sculpture explores the the layering of common building materials, such as roof shingles, to create forms that are both organic and structural. My process allows the material’s natural attributes to influence the final form. In dialogue with my sculptures, my paintings celebrate the contrasting aspects of the mind’s use of intuition and deliberate action. I use oil paint, tar and stain create abstract images with reference to architecture, light and air.

In both my sculpture and my paintings, the process of layering and uncovering, addition and subtraction demonstrates my reverence for each phase of the piece’s history. My work evolves from many layers of material and imagery that work together to create the final piece. Each layer has it’s own story and history. Each decision to construct or destruct, to apply or remove paint contributes to the final piece. The completed piece is the result of the moments that came before.

Intuition and process are fundamental to my work, as are allowing and patience. While I might start out with a vague form, image or idea, I allow room for the material to also determine the final product. It is important for me to strike a balance between intuition and a preconceived idea. I want to respect the material and appreciate it’s own qualities and direction. Allowing the material to show its own intrinsic qualities leaves room for elements of surprise, seduction and beauty.

Our lives consist of many layers; experiences and moments that form who we are and who we become. Our personal history determines who we are in the present and the future. While celebrating the positive experiences in one’s life is easy, is it also possible for an individual to celebrate difficult and challenging times? Is there room to find the good in any situation, despite how difficult or painful it might be? Is it possible to sit with negative emotion and respect its place in the construct of who we are? Can one look at life’s challenges as an important layer in one’s personal story? Can sadness evolve into happiness? Can despair evolve into elation? Can polar opposites exist all at the same time?

-Leslie Zelamsky, 2/15/15