My in-progress 'Flesh and Bone' body of work is an installation of human-scale felted wool sculptures whose mysterious and organic forms and tactile surfaces invite the viewer to physically engage in looking. With these sculptures, suggestive of both flesh and bone, I aim to create an environment in which the viewer will be made aware of his own body through the kinetic act of observing: moving and looking around, under, and through; crouching, leaning; yearning to touch. My large-scale felted wool sculptures offer a rebuke to the pervasiveness of slick virtual technology and a counterpoint that satisfies a yearning for tangible, textural experiences in real space.
The scale of these sculptures sets them apart from my previous work in felted wool, and with the change in scale comes adaptation to my working methods. I am experimenting with industrial felt sheets and metal and wood armatures to realize my visions of large, free-standing or hanging forms. I am also creating small-scale studies to work out the forms before translating them into larger versions. Wool remains my medium of choice for these forms that echo shapes found in nature. At a distance they evoke the clean, modern aesthetic of minimalist contemporary design, but upon closer observation their surfaces reveal unexpected texture and imperfections. As a medium for sculpture felted wool is plastic, gravity-defying, responsive, and endlessly challenging. Felt can physically and conceptually embody contradictions: it can appear hard or soft, and it is suggestive of domesticity, craft traditions, and utility but can also speak to their opposites. My interest in the tension between high and low technology and the role of humans in the natural world is well served by the unfathomable and organic qualities of the medium: my sculptures appear to hover in the liminal space between natural and manmade.
Below: the video 'Flesh/Bone Study #3: Process and Project' shows and overview of the project and the creation of the latest small study piece.