University of Maine – Nutting Hall

Line Totem: Man and His Dog Walking into the Forest by Tim Shay from Maine. Granite, 2012

Artist Statement

The concept of Line Totem comes as a design with no preliminary sketches or modeling, it is done with total spontaneity of line. There is no measurement of the lines. The lines are cut into a rectangular stone on the flat surface to create shadow in combinations of parallels of twos and threes diagonal, vertical, and horizontal. Once I have gone from top to bottom around all four sides we have a work that cannot be recreated except by measurement or a casting process.

This concept reflects the power of line not just in art but in our world as we know it today; as an example how we use line in our language, power lines, toe the line, line of thought, lines of speech on and on. We have had food lines of the great depression and unemployment lines that continue to grow; border lines that tell us where we can and cannot go, not to mention a question of how many wars have been created over lines, which brings to mind “Where do we draw the line?”—let us hope not at the end of the line.

Line Totem shows me the power of creativity as its own entity to say that we as a species have the ability to recreate ourselves in a way that reflects outward that we may make the world a better place to just be and to be just.