Blooming in the Studio

This started the same way as Vortex & The Rose Bowl Trophy ©2016 WTEK
This started the same way as Vortex & The Rose Bowl Trophy ©2016 WTEK

I’ve been working on a tall sculpture in the studio recently, that has taken a turn from where it started. As I was working on the bowl portion, I thought, “what if I keep the ‘petals’ open?” I got this cool, twisted shape on a tall stand. I was working on some templates to add a third layer to the ‘bloom,’ making it even taller (and to help balance it out visually.) Hopefully I get some more time in this weekend to get it close to finished.

The base being tried out ©2016 WTEK
The base being tried out ©2016 WTEK
Now checking it out with the 'bloom' on ©2016 WTEK
Now checking it out with the ‘bloom’ on ©2016 WTEK
I turned the bottom out, giving it 'feet' and more stability ©2016 WTEK
I turned the bottom out, giving it ‘feet’ and more stability ©2016 WTEK

Rivers and Tides

Work from Rivers and Tides © Andy Goldsowrthy

I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut recently. I have bunches of unfinished work and it’s hard to get up the inspiration to get in the studio. I am almost done with the piece in the last post, so that has started to lift the fog. Then I watched an art documentary last night that put the wind back in my sails.

Rivers and Tides follows environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy as he works on pieces in Nova Scotia, New York, France, and at his home base in Scotland. He uses natural materials that he gathers from the immediate area to create ephemeral works in the environment. He made work using leaves, moss, ice, driftwood, stones, bracken, flowers, and wool. Bits were connected using thorns and very small sticks. Some leaves were altered by scratching on their backs, icicles were broken up and remelted together into new shapes. It was amazing!

Cairn ©1997 Andy Goldsworthy Herring Island, Victoria, Australia

The work used a lot of meandering lines that drew on the paths of rivers. Pieces would be placed alongside rivers and the ocean using the tides as a part of the piece. As he put it, his piece is given to the sea as a gift and the sea takes it and makes more of it. His real work is change. Changing the environment, allowing the environment to change his pieces. I loved his line, “total control can be the death of a work.” Also when he talked about taking it to the very edge of collapse, “a beautiful balance.”

Other themes in his work were a series of cone shapes, arches, and bunch dealing with black holes. It was especially nice to see that he can spend a whole day working on a piece that just collapses over and over again. So often you get this idea that an artist can get to a point where they never experience failure, but that just isn’t true. They persevere despite that set back and go on to make better and better pieces because of it.