Sunday, January 12, 2014

Finished Sculpture for Biomorph

This is my third post of finished work from my show at Esvelt Gallery. The show, Biomorph, features work by just two artists, meaning I have more work in this show than in group shows and juried shows I have done recently. I was able to have control over what I showed and how much I showed. I have already posted about the two installations, today's post focuses on my free-standing sculpture in the exhibition.
last minute epoxy (blue tape holding the pieces on as the epoxy sets)
The main reason I have so much new work in the show is that I haven't taught classes at YVCC for six months. The work in this show is representative of the work I created during my sabbatical. I have some pieces in the show that pre-date the sabbatical and I have a handful of pieces in my studio that didn't quite get finished before the installation deadline for Biomorph.

three pieces finished
My sabbatical work focused on incorporating bike parts and other mechanical parts into my sculpture. I explored both the logistics of the integration of these non-ceramic materials and the conceptual and inspirational influence of the bike parts on the form of the sculptures. I began my sabbatical work in the summer and I focused intensely on it during the fall quarter. I hope to finish up some of the sculptures during the next six months, though my teaching schedule is heavier than usual this quarter.

five pieces finished
During my sabbatical I also wrote about my process on this blog (and was recognized for my efforts). I have drafted an article that I plan to revise and submit for publication. The Biomorph show and an upcoming two-person show at Oak Hollow Gallery in Yakima (as well as this blog) will be the main venues (so far) for viewing the sculpture created for the sabbatical.

asymmetrical sculpture
As of the installation of this exhibition, I have seven free-standing mechanical parts sculptures. In the studio I have one more piece that is close to complete and another that hasn't been glazed yet, as well as a few odds and ends.

squid backside
Besides these larger works, several of the wall installation pieces with mechanical parts can be shown as individual pieces. In all, counting bike part pieces, ceramic only pieces, not-quite finished pieces, and all the wall installation pieces, I built about 125 pieces this summer (that hundred-piece wall installation ups my count pretty quickly).

small bike part pieces for the wall installation
The multi-part bike pieces are the ones that were really the focus of my sabbatical research. Because I incorporated large bike parts, including wheel forks, the pieces are relatively large compared to my recent work.
Nepentha Prosthesia
Since I finished some of the pieces in the first two days of 2014, installation day was the first time I had gotten a good look at some of the pieces. I didn't have time for professional level images after the installations were complete (a girl's gotta have time to eat) but I was able to get photos of everything new.
Cephalotus Prosthesia
The bike fork pieces ended up very tall compared to their component parts. It's a bit odd to work with these relatively small pieces all quarter only to put them together in a week and discover a whole new identity for the elements as one sculpture. In the gallery they no longer look like the giants they appeared to be in my crowded studio.

Petal / Petal
During installation the gallery director and assistants indicated they liked the pieces. Mary Dryburg, the gallery director, mentioned she didn't know what to expect way back when I first proposed the idea for these mixed media works. For me, I'm a little too close to the building of these pieces to view them objectively. I still see them as pieces that required a particular glaze or sections that were hard to put together. When the show concludes in a month, maybe I will be able to see them as whole sculptures and a body of work.

Scylla Bionica

I am planning to go down and see the show for the reception on January 14 (at 1pm, join me). Perhaps in that context I can see them with some perspective. Or perhaps I will just stand next to the wall installation worrying that someone might bump something.

Charybdis Bionica
The pieces I am most happy with now are the ones that most closely resembled the original sketches. This is a bit of a surprise to me because these pieces were the easiest to plan and make and because the look of my work often drifts away from original sketches during the building process.

The asymmetrical piece I have worried over in previous posts is an interesting case of something that closely resembles the original sketch but required a significant amount of problem solving during the building process. In the end, this piece sits strangely on the pedestal. The tail section of chains needs to hang off the edge for a completely solid footing. The pedestals at Esvelt Gallery were set up beautifully for this piece and allow it to look like it is stretching or moving away from its original location.

I didn't get the best lighting for this shot, but I like the silhouette of the piece and the bulb installation in the back.
I would love to hear what you think about the pieces I have shown here. If you are in the Pasco, WA area, stop by and see the works in person. Esvelt Gallery hours are M-Th 8am - 8:30 pm and Friday 8am - noon. The gallery is free and open to the public. The gallery is well marked and is housed in the art and drama building on the Columbia Basin College campus. 

a line of sculptures in the gallery
Thanks for reading!

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