William Rhodes, You Reap What You Sow, 2019
As the artist I created, You Reap What you Sow to express my belief that our great nation must face up to the consequences of its actions. The past history of the United States will inevitably shape our present day society.
This artwork was conceived out of my frustration with the current political and social landscape of this country. I began creating this sculpture in order to work through these issues and find a way to balance my emotions. In this sculpture, I included carved wood forms, neon glass, needle and thread and two portraits of farmers. The portraits of farmers are key elements to this piece. My family were farmers and I often reflected on their wisdom. They would frequently relate life to farming and often used the expression, You Reap What You Sow. For my family, this expression illustrated how your good actions in planting seeds in the Spring can lead to a bountiful harvest in the Summer. I never forgot that expression and it felt very relevant to the current conditions of the United States.
All of my art materials have symbolic meaning to me. In this sculpture I use materials such as carved wood, pencil, neon glass and needle and thread. I used the carved wood forms to express my connection to the earth. Wood is a living material and it is used as the foundation for this sculpture. The pencil drawings are important elements because they symbolize my ancestors. I use the neon glass word “REAP” as a way to convey my message. It is bold and electric. The red needle and thread is important to me because it symbolizes the connection to human life. It also symbolizes that all human actions influence other actions. For me life is a great web of invisible threads connecting all of humanity.
I hope voters will relate to the rustic and unpretentious forms and understand that it has a basic message. Your actions have consequences. How will your current vote affect your future? In order for a society to continue to exist there must be a desire to return to common sense principles.