Elaine Buss, Independence, Missouri
Elaine Buss draws upon the wide-open spaces of the rural landscape she grew up in to create her ambiguous moonscape or farm crop-like installations. She takes a metaphorical approach to materials, contrasting durable and impermanent materials in her installations and sculptures to work with everlasting and temporary conceptual ideas. Buss builds her installations with materials in their various phases—such as dry, wet, and fired clay. Thus her research into materiality often leads her to latent expressions of immateriality and its parameters.
Buss is enamored with the formal exploration of fragments, relics, artifacts, and architectural forms found in museums and ruins. She is looking at specific pieces that have humble origins, but are the workhorses of our everyday lives—loom weights, millstones, and crypt-wall bricks. For her, they are an enigma, a series of unsolved problems full of intrigue. She states, “I am interested in the everything-ness of simple forms.” Her singular objects and built installations frequently begin with the circle as a symbol representing wholeness and infinity. In Buss’ installation, Wander |Wonder, she contextualizes the process of making the objects, “When we wander, our minds are often at rest while our bodies are ambulatory. . . . to wander is often also to wonder; both are to go astray into a place unknown.”