Sculptures inspired by travel are displayed at the Marblehead Arts Association

Submitted by Daniel William Zampino, sculptor

The Marblehead Arts Association at the King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper St., presents, alongside several other shows, “Sculptures Inspired by Travel,” my works of slate stone reliefs. The exhibit, in the Hendrick Room, runs through September 24.

I have been a practicing sculptor for more than 40 years. A juried member of both the Marblehead Arts Association and the Rockport Arts Association, as well as a member of the New England Sculptors Association, this is my third solo show at the MAA. I also had a solo show in Rockport in 2017.

A practicing lawyer and former psychiatric counselor, my approach to stone sculpture is to incise, in deep lines, forms that transmit narratives. In short, I act as a storyteller. Images,centered around the human form, transmit characters in their psychological nuances. Most of my works, in various colors depending on the stone itself, are the equivalent size of paintings, although I was commissioned and executed two large, roughly life-size sculptural renditions of historical Marblehead personages. Those works can be seen in the garden at the Hooper Mansion. 

I follow the muse of adventure in order to construct images that are sometimes mythic or ancient, yet at other times starkly contemporary. 

In 2019, I ventured to Honduras, where, at the ruins of Copan I made note of the ancient renditions of the king known as 18 Rabbit — for which I sculpted a complex, spiritual hierarchy centered around ancient Maya metaphysics.

By contrast, I discovered in my trip to Israel a contemporary Jerusalem musician, whose rendition of jazz clarinet deserved a stone recapitulation. A similar inspiration evoked the image of a rababa (a string instrument) player at Petra in Jordan. Apsaras, divine dancers in Cambodian aesthetics, were brought to life by my work in stone. In Vietnam, a moving, but garish skeletal set of figures relive the chemical defoliation in its human implication, that aroused my recall of the Vietnam War era.

In Egypt, I witnessed widespread desecrations of Alexandrine temples by fourth-century religious fanatics — a phenomenon that moved me to reconstruct, in redstone-relief, the defacing of ancient Egyptian gods.

As described, these renditions are only a sampling of the works I present — works covering 13 different countries. The title piece, “Our Shattered World Must Fly its Flag,” restates the effort of three personages to uplift the flag atop the 2001 ruins of the World Trade Center. For this, the thematic centering of the show is America, more particularly, New York City. 

As a transplanted New Yorker to New England, the assault on New York skyscrapers is an assault on what makes this nation unique — its diversity. Traveling to many nations, I realized and attempted to honor, as an artist, the communal bond this nation has with the rest of the world. For this, it is a world flag that must be flown. More, those doing the hoisting are Lady Liberty, a native man and a man donning a turban. The theme of “Sculptures Inspired by Travel” is a celebration of the transnational world we live in. 

Daniel Zampino

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