Elizabeth Y. Akamatsu
I grew up in Orange County in Southern California at a time when the area was lush with orange groves and eucalyptus trees. This suburb, just south of Los Angeles, was devoid of any artistic input at the time. Living in this cultural desert, and my tendency to be a loner, drove me to look toward nature for company and knowledge. It is my history that forms my art.
I am an object maker. Sometimes I start with an idea. I’ll objectify it out of a raw material such as steel, bronze, and/or wood. At other times, I’ll start with a found object, such as an exceptionally beautiful branch which I then incorporate into a sculpture to create a piece that is uniquely mine. This process of creating can occur in a moment or take months to come to fruition. This is the magic of making art.
My art, like nature’s seasons, can be categorized into four themes: inspired by nature, feminine iconography, storytelling, and expression through geometric form.
Examining nature I can find endless examples of beauty and relationships. The process of seeing and discovering inspires me to create forms that capture the essence of nature and life. In these works, I strive to reveal the precarious state of nature and humanity’s vital relationship to the environment.
Growing up and living as a female in a male-dominated environment has affected my identity and sexuality. My work serves as a receptacle for questions that I feel compelled to examine and address.
Classical mythology and folk tales prove rich sources with which to create narrative tropes. Storytelling provides understanding and guidance; it allays our fears and answers our questions.
Seeing a triangle, square, or circle creates an instant gestalt. I like to refer to these basic forms as “the sacred geometry.” They hold a great visual power that I believe human beings can understand at a gut level. Think of the Great Pyramids in Egypt; their simple form rivets us with their overpowering grandeur. Think of the unassuming sugar cube; when examined closely, its beauty is unsurpassed. And lastly, visualize the circle-a symbol of perfection and union; it is a shape understood around the world.
These themes all ultimately converge to create who I am. I hope my visualizations are both beautiful, timeless, and thought provoking.