Judith Nicolaidis - Artist Statement
Art, for me, is first a means of accessing and exploring deep, personal levels of Self and its connection to our contemporary world. Inspiration often comes from symbols and metaphors drawn from cultures diverse in location and time. A Jungian at heart, I believe that these intuitive attractions are spiritual connections with Universal Consciousness. Often the work has a numinous dimension that resonates powerfully for me and for the viewer. Currently, I find environmental issues of local and global significance to be of primary interest. This concern is expressed in my recent collages as well as the sculpture.
Earlier work focused on exploration of the feminine psyche and portrayal of the power of feminine energy. At times the focus was also expanded to the unification of masculine and feminine energies, beyond gender, in the sense expressed by the spiritual thought of the cultures of Asia.
As a resident of the border city of San Diego, I have created works inspired by symbols and objects from indigenous Mexican culture. In 2003 I completed a twenty-foot high monument, a public archway with the negative space in the form of the Virgin of Guadalupe. It is located on a hillside in the politically oppressed border community of Maclovio Rojas in Tijuana. The process and final result of building this project has realized my dream of creating a monumental cross-border artwork.
The sculptural ceramic work includes free standing and wall-hung relief pieces that are made primarily with clay slabs, utilizing forms of the human figure combined with elements from animals and plants, as well as personal and ancient graphic symbols. The surfaces are multi-fired to produce varied color effects which are often enhanced with post-firing paint details. The arch is constructed of ferroconcrete and completely surfaced with brightly colored ceramic elements and tile mosaic. My second book, The Guadalupe Arch, tells the story of my journey from inspiration to realization of that project.