This work was inspired by a moment beachcombing while carrying the artist’s son on her back, when he randomly exclaimed, “Momma, I’m not a barnacle. I’m just a boy.” This sculpture exposes mixed emotions of being a parent, and bond with this tiny being who is both autonomous and not so vaguely parasitic. The child’s love and need for their parent is simultaneously the greatest joy and a weighty tether.
Crystal Schenk grew up moving around the Northwest. Her sculpture draws its meaning and strength from natural phenomena, memory, and her rather tumultuous familial history. Her current work investigates the ever-changing landscape of recollection—attempting to visually explore our understanding of the way memory functions or fails us, especially in the presence of trauma. Crystal lives in Portland, OR where she teaches at Pacific Northwest College of Art.