Over the years Wing has carved several versions of a human hand with fingers outstretched, reaching into the sky.  The title refers to the effort one makes when trying to grasp something beyond one’s reach.  

Reach, Carrara marble, 2004

In the practice of yoga it is called Hatha, or effort.  The constant quest to bring greater openness and awareness to each pose.  The outstretched hand can be seen as the upper expression of the pose trikonasana, commonly known as triangle pose.  One arm touches the ground or ankle, helping to give balance and a rooted connection to the pose, while the other stretches upward toward the infinite.

Wing’s art does not represent perfection or attainment, rather process and aspiration

A plant grows toward the light.  In favorable conditions a single acorn can grow into a mighty oak tree.  In maturity it will produce many thousands of acorns, each one with the potential to become a tree of its own.  So too our nature as humans is to strive towards greater knowledge, understanding, and empathy.  Given the right conditions one person can become a beacon of possibility for many others through their actions.  

Growing toward the light can be interpreted as a Quaker metaphor as well.  Quakers are strongly associated with the concept of the inner light.  It is as an apt description of the human spiritual condition.  When we are dejected or feel defeated and weak our light is dimmed.  But when we gather In the Light, as in Quaker silent worship, our own inner light is nurtured, kindled, and grows.  We add our light to the vast pool of infinite light until there is no distinction between one’s individual spiritual light and the great light of oneness which some have called God.  But this process of unification is not automatic.  It does not happen without an effort.  Seek and ye will find.  

Reach created in paper birch from a tree that overlooked Oxtongue Lake
Reach and Good Grief displayed at a church in Missoula, MT during Wing’s graduate studies. Photograph by Shelly Truman

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