Stephen Klassen - Visual Artist
Seeing Through Holes

Holes are magic. They allow us to see through something solid, whether into the brightness of the other side or into the depth of endless shadow. Like a loose knot in a high fence, a hole is a window into a hidden world. Or, like the mouth of a cave, it represents the edge of mystery tinged with both fear and enticement. Seen through holes, the world constantly changes as it is framed in new ways

For me, seeing through holes also describes the act of carving. Digging into the wood is my way to see in the dark, to feel my way into the interior of what I am making. I am inspired by the openings I find already in the wood: the cracks, the beetle chewed labyrinth of tunnels, the scars of lost limbs and other voids in the surface. Holes in my work can be places for a viewer’s eyes to fall into. The rest of the piece momentarily disappears when the emptiness of the opening allows the viewer to see through it. At the same time, these breaches enhance the solidity that contains them. Additionally, I use color to create places that pull light into the surface or deflect it. I make work that invites viewers to discover many points of entry.