"I was raised in a community based in industry, irrevocably seduced by the sights and sounds synonymous with production. Much of what informs my work developed while witnessing the auto industry's golden age of success deteriorate into the struggle of its collapse. My work explores the narrative that unfolds as industry leaves the communities built upon its promise. These hand-carved figurative sculptures blur the line between realism and vintage plaything, encapsulating the eerily life-like qualities of marionettes and their inherent innocence to examine the relationship between human beings and their physical and mental environment. The figures appeal to our childlike curiosity and desire while their offerings are often darkly evocative, embodying the high drama and composition of a cinematic still. The theatrical stages these characters inhabit act as a platform for their stories, akin to the vast abandon of the factories and communities that lie along the rust belt and throughout the former sites of American industry. They offer a performance parallel to the figure- rich in attention to detail and history while embodying and reflecting the mental state of the figure they host. This work satisfies my interests in character, story, craft, mechanics, composition, empathy, and social commentary."-Dustin Farnsworth
Dustin Farnsworth currently lives and works at Penland.