Ouija
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Ouija

Rob Womack

enamel paint on wood

15" x 60" x 36"

 

Initially, the shape of this mid-century modern table reminded me of the shaped canvases of Ellsworth Kelly (triangular but with bowed edges), and my approach was a rigorous and complexly geometric one of filling the form with circles that touched one another. I planned for the glass circles to be part of the formal interaction of shape and color on the table. The idea was for these glass disks, with their aqua-green edges, to be pushed around and to glide over the surface, encircling and creating compositions both within each disk and within the overall triangular shape. But then the piece became something else.

In order for the disks to glide smoothly over the table’s surface it was necessary to add three small felt pads to each glass circle. While shifting the disks and looking at different configurations, I realized the similarities between what I had created and an Ouija board—the gliding felt pads, the hovering glass disks encircling abstract messages. Then I realized the overall tripod shape of the table was that of the Ouija board’s planchette. I wondered if thoughts of Ouija had been there from the beginning.

I was delighted that, unknown to my conscience thoughts, I had arrived at the geometry of the mystical, the exact allusive quality I find within the work of Ellsworth Kelly.

 

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