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DANI HENKE

STATEMENT

 

I was in second grade when I first saw my work in print. My neon pink and yellow Play-Doh Hadrosaur bested the triceratops and T-Rexes of my classmates to be captured in grainy black and white for the local paper. I was hooked; on dinosaurs and art class. The passion to become a paleontologist faded somewhere in the fourth grade when I discovered roller skating rinks, Madonna, and Judy Bloom. My love for art, sculpture in particular, never quavered.

It was also about fourth grade when I began spending a lot more time with my grandparents. My curiosity and creativity was always encouraged by my grandmother, a free spirited painter and writer trapped in the body of Midwestern house wife.  My grandparents bickered, as people who know too much about each other often do, which led to my grandpa whiling away hours in his wood shop. His creations would become collaborations: Grandma painting the wooden figures Grandpa whittled. The hours of my youth spent in their differing yet married worlds formed my view of art as a storytelling device and a partnership.  

My grandmother passed away seven years ago and no one adds to my grandpa's carvings. Only wood. There's something a bit lonely and naked in an object created solely from a single medium.