Throughout our perceptive development we experience moments that bring about fundamental shifts in our understanding of something. Those moments when we perceive in a new light and truly understand something for the first time. When these revelations occur, we also know that we really knew it all along. These moments of clarity and understanding become iconic for what we know.
As an artist and designer, I am compelled to evoke moments of clarity and understanding by creating sensory triggers, be they visual, tactile, or acoustic. This ability to enable people to see things differently comes with a sense of empowerment and inherent responsibility. I strive to hold true to this responsibility in all my work.
A recurring theme in my work is that of identity. This theme as expressed in my sculpture and drawings is subtle and abstract. The most minimal of interventions alter the identity of a volume. Linear voids and facets placed into a volume alter its appearance and identity. At times, the void creates abstract connections between volumes establishing a bond, or relationship.
The theme of identity is evolved in the design of my masks, which are in essence, wearable sculptures. Using this vocabulary, the masks transpose the sculptural to a narrative identity. Inherent in the mask-sculpture is the effect or intent of transformation of identity. This transformation is either perceived (looking at a mask), or expressed (performing with or looking out of a mask).
To view a photo essay featuring Roland Gebhardt in his studio, please visit Artists at Work