Lingering at the brooding rim
Riverside City College Quad Gallery, 2016
I have been following the works by William Catling for several years and have had glimpses into the evolution of a powerful body of work. It was when we exhibited together in a figurative group show last year that I became wholly entranced. I am very honored to have the opportunity to exhibit his work in a solo exhibition, for the first time in his home city of Riverside California.
I think what first drew me to Catlings work was this deep sense of the human spirit and an acknowledgement of the darkest, most brutal and pain filled aspects and presence of existence as a living being. He draws you in with a profound sensitivity and awareness of myth and metaphor that compels us to look closely at the aspects of what connects us. Amazingly though as we “linger on this brooding rim” we find an obscure, nearly indefinable, elegance, beauty and hope in that connectivity. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Joseph Campbell. ” Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”
Catling’s works embody the timeless burdens of human existence, yet they are still life - affirming. He fearlessly brings (as termed by Eckhart Tolle) an archetypal collective “pain body” to the forefront and makes us live with it, accept it and and be present with it.
He is a sculptor for our time, and all time as we observe the burdens, crimes and horrors that we have perpetrated upon ourselves and each other. The toil and pain of being becomes inescapable as we become the “witness”. And as we witness we unify, become the “One” and begin our collective transcendence.
Leslie A. Brown