Charles O. Perry




This the Garden of Eden. All the other allegories not withstanding we have given a whole universe. I am obsessed with the wonderful mysteries of our universe. All my work in art has had some reference to what we were given. My very first water colour was a vain attempt to extol the beauties of the wilds of Montana, where I was born and where I camped with my father. Two years later, when fighting in Korea, I realised that creating things, actually making or inventing things, was always, and always would be, a necessary part of my daily life. I even invented a better telescope for my observation on the line.


Then on R and R in Kyoto, the beauty of the Japanese Architecture moved me to act. Their reverent use of our natural materials was perfection itself. This forced the issue :  I must return to school and study Art and Architecture.


         When I arrived at Yale, it was at the time of the Bauhaus, when we were encouraged to experiment with materials to discover "their true nature" which really meant that we were to invent  new forms that exploited the properties of these materials.


         But let us go back to the Garden of Eden. Today this once simple garden is now a vast array of everything, everything from the sub atomic to the galactic is exploding all around us and we call it the "information explosion". It is more like a peek into the Pandora's box. Is this the discovery of the tip of the glacier of eternal secrets ?


         The news today of scientific discoveries is epic in proportion to just twenty years ago. Just the Hubbell telescope 's discoveries and the DNA race give us this peek at our gifts, not to mention the amazing quantum physics which blows everything away a capricious photon.


I try to grapple with these wonderful happenings all around us and somehow make thing that remind us, as in music, of these phenomena. For some reason I insist on inventing or at least being rigidly specific in each piece of sculpture. If I were a painter it would become an other game, but I have no to make things with the laws that nature has laid out.


         In applying these laws to building things, I soon came across the book "Growth and Form" by D'Arcy Thompson. This was a wonderful book on morphology with enough illustrations to spur my interest and at the same time convince me of the worth of my quest. My ignorance was definitely a big help, because it added to the mystery of what I was trying to do.


         Actually that same ignorance has driven me always toward the end of that rainbow. The very misunderstanding of the way tetrahedrons fit together eventually taught me solid geometry. (At least in my version of solid geometry). After all I am not a mathematician. I am an artist and the next piece of news in science is always another piece of my puzzle.


         What joy it brings to realise how infinitely small we are and how little we know.