International Sculpture Center

   

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Ted Clausen

46 Cogswell Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140, U.S.A.
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Phone: 6179744566

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ARTIST’S STATEMENT

A towering, 40 foot tall ribbon of steel, its curves echoing those of the city’s river, surrounded by a steel circle of engraved texts from the city’s past and present.  

The surrounding curves of a granite wall etched with the story of a tragic day for firefighters... 

A cluster of local basalt boulders engraved with the stories of hard work and humor that shaped a region's first 100 years...

Each of my public art works integrates form, space, and texts into a narrative journey. I create sculptural forms and spaces which are sometimes intimate, sometimes monumental, each of which becomes a vehicle for the stories and histories of the theme of the work. Each work is specifically and meticulously crafted for its site and theme: the materials and the way I use them vary with each project.

The form and public space I create for each work embodies the theme and guides the visitor’s journey through the work. For a firefighters memorial in Boston, MA, I designed an intimate outdoor space which leads the visitor into the story of the fire and brings him to stand before the site of the blaze; for Reading PA, I created a towering sculpture that recreates the curves of the city's river in four stories of mirror stainless steel, surrounding it with a circular path of stainless steel engraved with quotations from the city’s history.

My belief in the power of stories to remind, educate, and inspire is at the core of my work. I begin by working with the local community and schools to gather the public histories and personal stories which are specific to the project. Whether the theme of the work is the daily life of a soldier on the Korean front, or the first 100 years of a town’s life, the final texts are chosen for their ability to vividly capture and explore the theme from a variety of points of view: they inform; they are often personal and emotionally moving; they can be humorous or intellectually provocative, poetic or inspiringly everyday.

 I often underscore the meanings of the text by using evocative objects which encourage the visitor to touch: a draped, life-size firefighter’s coat and hat in bronze;  a life-size cast metal plow used by the first settlers to a region; a bronzed, pocket-sized prayer book carried by an American prisoner of war in Korea.

The resulting works are layered and interactive: visitors attention is alternately focused on text, on form and on space, each interaction furthering the sense of journey. The works are multi-sensory: inspiring visual and intellectual curiosity, touch, and movement. They capture the particular feel, texture, and meanings of the theme. They invite and encourage further visits.

 

WHY WORDS WORK:  Integrating word and form

Quotes and text are powerful components of public art:

They take you there.

Real voices, of real people, bring the experience to life.

You can identify.

You read the words of a real person you can identify with.

You participate.

You read and think about what you have read.

They offer complexity and diversity.

They allow for the inclusion of many roles, persons, attitudes, experiences, and places.

They involve you on many levels.

They educate, they remind, they inspire, they generate curiosity. Powerful texts help you feel AND think.

Each visit brings a new experience.

 

You may reinterpret a quote you read on an earlier visit, or you may relate the words to another text or to the sculptural form in a new way.

 

RESUME: PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS

2012                  Needham, MA  Needham Coalition for Suicide Prevention ($200,000.00)

2011                  City of Cambridge, Massachusetss; Prince Hall Memorial ($100,000.00)

2010                  Montgomery County, MD, Public Safety Officers Memorial (425,000.00)

2009                  State Of Connecticut, A.I. Prince  School, ($380,000.000)

                            State of Massachusetts, Irish Immigration Memorial ($250,000.00)

2006                   Landmark School, Beverly, MA.

2005                   Holliston Public Schools; Holliston, MA

2002                   Twin Falls, Idaho: America Creates for the Millennium ($125,000)

2002                   City of Reading, PA; 250th Anniversary Sculpture; ($175,000.)

2001                   City  of Somerville, MA; Korean War Memorial: ($110,00.00)

1997                   City  of Boston:  Vendome Firefighter's Memorial. ($200,000.)