Roger Wood is a story teller. His new all white assemblages are elaborate stages on which silent dramas unfold. The stories are familiar yet elusive, the settings cluttered with clues and oblique stage directions, acted out by a cast of everyman and woman. Wood borrows from a history of three dimensional collage, alluding to such giants as Joseph Cornell and Louise Nevelson while at the same time adding a theatrical dimension to these small built worlds. There is something powerful and intangible in their quiet, the force of a message delivered not with a shout but with a whisper.
- Andrew McPhail, artist
"I call these pieces ‘assemblages’ because they play with and trade upon the themes of accumulation and juxtaposition. I am an avid collector of bric-a-brac; of the discarded; of the overlooked.
Years ago when I was teaching, one of the first field-trips with my students was to the flea markets and rummage sales encouraging them to be open to the unexpected, to the possibilities that various disparate items might present. This involved seeing, touching, feeling, connecting, selecting and later placing the objects side-by-side to enable a kind of visual language, to speak wordlessly. I am calling my recent assemblages “Stories Without Words” where the objects take the place of phrases and metaphors to become something of a ‘meta-text’ as in dreams and fantasies.
My methods are very intuitive. I sit at my workbench with a variety of objects placed about more or less randomly. I select out a few motifs and let others assume positions like constellations or configurations. My eye moves about the surface in a roving sense perhaps seeing something different on each occasion, the way words and phrases begin to take shape. It’s that beginning phase that interests me, the threshold state where things start."
- Roger Wood
“In his own charming manner, Roger Wood invites us to take a leisurely stroll through his work, with our imaginations unleashed. No map is required; we are allowed to write our own scenarios. He guides us gently through time, space and feeling. His obvious joy in the ‘familiar’ things of the world, counterpoised in fantastic settings, brings us to a new appreciation of that which we are usually too preoccupied to notice. His ability to carry us through this garden of wonder attests to his strength as an artist; an artist who insists on the importance of play, thereby permitting him, and his viewers to believe in possibilities. There is a timelessness of his work that presumes it will both stay and move with us. The juxtaposition of old and new, familiar and rare, sacred and profane, preserves each piece in a vacuum of freshness well beyond any trend in fashion or taste. This is a truly refreshing and everlasting world, meant to be lived with and enjoyed.”
— M. Manson, Professor, Fine Arts, Wilfred Laurier University