Christopher Nadaskay is the University Professor of Art at Union University and an artist focusing primarily on mixed-media, using a variety of materials and textures in his exploration of cultural critiques and societal legacies. As a self-proclaimed science-fiction fan, Nadaskay often incorporates aspects of the genre’s futuristic musings into his conviction-fueled paintings and sculptures.
Now that 2016 has finally been introduced, conversations surrounding time and the potential it offers filling in the air in the form of New Year’s resolutions and opportunities to reinvent the self. The turn of a calendar offers a sense of a new beginning, but one that will not last long due to time’s fleeting nature.
In anticipation of next week's A.M. Creative talk at theCO—a monthly group meet-up organized for and by makers, dreamers, and those who wish to share in one another’s stories of inspiration—we revisit our October gathering featuring Chris Nadaskay, a man who is chiefly concerned with that mysterious theme of temporality and how we as individuals are making use of it.
The American author H.G. Wells presents a curious picture of man writing his own history book for those who come after him, performing a meditation on what his present contributions will ultimately mean once his time has passed. This narrative in The Invisible Man and the kind of disposition it lends towards time led Nadaskay in what he noted in his early morning talk as a trigger for what sentiments he began channeling through his pieces after first reading the novel several years ago. The mixed-media artist breezed through a slideshow demonstrating a series of sculptures and paintings that sought to rhetorically ask, “What will I do with the time I have? And what legacy will I leave behind?” In light of current societal trends towards materialism, Nadaskay said that he wished to perform a critique of culture in how our sense to time and resources may be misappropriated.
Nadaskay then went on to tell listeners more about a sculpture he made recently that took a similar form to the Rosetta Stone, in which he buried an encrypted stone below the new library at Union with the help of several students. Nadaskay commented that in a roundabout way the project proved to be about rediscovering space, for both him and the finished product, in the creation process despite the fact that his piece was kept from the expected gallery context. The separation from technology and uncoerced stimulation allowed for a making experience that highlighted the essence of what was being created and all that helped create it. “The significance of this project and its longevity are not lost on me. However, I’ve since come to realized that the real present value of it was to close out all of the clamor of my life, and that the real legacy is found in how I interact with the precious people God put’s in my path from day to day.”
Before concluding, Nadaskay looked to reaffirm all of the artists and patrons in the room with a charge that maintaining that same sacred space for their own making would be invaluable, regardless of the inspiration or end goal. “I would ask you today if you’ve ever allowed yourself a space for silence so that you could make something truly amazing?”