Bio and artist statement
Char Norman is an accomplished fiber artist specializing in papermaking and fiber sculpture. She received a Master of Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Art from Scripps College. She has lectured and exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. She has developed and conducted workshops for all ages, worked as a consultant to area schools and community arts organizations, held the positions of Associate Provost and Dean of Faculty at Columbus College of Art & Design and has recently returned to the studio as a full time professional artist.
The idea of Nature as an object of veneration and worship is as old as man. Tied into this worship of nature is the idea that all things are interconnected, and no one thing is dominant over another. As our world continues to face critical issues affecting the environment, social equality, ethics, and morality, the need to understand this symbiotic relationship and embrace eco-psychology becomes more apparent than ever. I present nature in a sacred space in order to bring about a deeper understanding of the importance of the issues at hand and to help others recognize the role nature can play as a teacher, therapist, and healer.
The woven pod shapes in many of my pieces are modelled after seed pods. This iconic shape is a metaphor for how we relate to our natural environment; nurturing, abusing, mourning, or revering it. The forms can be both wombs and shrouds; celebrating and nurturing the birth of nature or mourning and honoring the death of it. This dichotomy of ideas is further expressed by the “mending” of natural objects through the violent act of stitching and fastening parts together. References to the destruction and deterioration of the environment also play a role in representing the rot in our society, government and the rest of the world. Small natural objects such as nuts and seed are nestled into the work – representing rebirth and the hope for a better future.
Char Norman, Columbus, OH
A two person show with Catherine Bell Smith titled Altered Perceptions. Char’s statement for this show:
The veneration and worship of nature is an integral part of my work with all things interconnected and nothing dominant over another. As we continue to face critical issues affecting the environment, social equality, ethics, and morality, the need to understand this symbiotic relationship and embrace eco-psychology becomes more apparent than ever. In the past I have presented nature in sacred attitudes and spaces in order to bring about a deeper understanding of the importance of stewardship and recognition of the role nature can play as a teacher, therapist, and healer. In recent news, we often hear of ecological disasters and the destruction, decay, or blatant disregard of the natural world. Each time I see or hear such a report, I feel as if I have been gut-punched. This new work has evolved in response to this negativity-going from the reverence of the beauty of nature to the abhorrence of its destruction. Multiple images of ecological disasters, rusted artifacts, and ghost images of what once thrived, serve as a slap in the face as to what we are doing to our universe.