Richard Gordon Zyne
Tell us about what you're currently working on.
While my website is currently filled with my digital images, I am spending most of my creative time creating bowls and vases made of cement. They are abstract and a little off-kilter. They are also an expression of the loss and grief I am experiencing. I work for Heartland Hospice as a Bereavement Coordinator and Grief Counselor. Most of the time I deal with the loss and grief of families whose loved ones have died. Now I am also helping folks in general cope with their loss and anxieties.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
Yes, I am focusing all my energy on three-dimensional works composed of concrete, which I mold or carve into biomorphic shapes, bowls, vases, and other sculptures. All of my new work (since the beginning of year) is abstract, emotional, and conveys a certain anxiety. I used to be an architect, many years ago, so concrete has always been in my blood. I use rapid set mortar which is very strong but very flexible. I try to achieve a ceramic look, but use non-ceramic materials.
How do you think the creative process can help us confront our "new" reality?
I deal with my own angst and fear through the creation of art. For me, doing art is therapy. If I could do it all again I'd probably go into art therapy. In the grief work I do for Heartland Hospice, I use the Japanese concept of "kintsugi" as an expression of the healing process. We repair broken bowls and express our grief and healing through the scars that still remain. We are all broken bowls, but our scars can be a source of our healing.
I'm also a hospital chaplain and have served at Johns Hopkins Hospital and MedStar Franklin Square. Art in all its forms--visual, music, poetry, cooking, dancing, singing, etc. etc.--is liberating. All peoples from the beginning of human history have expressed art as a way to attain enlightenment and to find peace and healing.
Richard Gordon Zyne lives in Baltimore. See more of his work here.