Limestone and Powder Coated Aluminum with LED Lighting
click photos to enlarge
New Orleans, LA but have lived in Birmingham, AL for 20 years
Wade Sand and Gravel Quarry in Birmingham, AL
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SCULPTING?
WHAT GOT YOU INTO THIS MEDIUM?
Evolution of my work - I started introducing CNC (computer numeric cutting) processes into my work and through that came the introduction of light - LED and solar.
WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS SELECTED PIECE DERIVE?
The Charm sculpture series focuses on the correlation of contrasts - two very different elements that are interrelated and combined to create equilibrium. The creation of the Charm sculptures begins with a limestone rock that has been harvested from the quarry where I work. I use laser-cutting processes with the metal that introduces light and a sense of weightlessness into the piece. Symbols, such as unevenly balanced objects joined, ask the question, "What am I bound to?" I work with this quality of extreme contrasts through the creation of bulky sculptures made of metal and boulders that are intricately balanced with hand wrought chains to create a sense of the weight of fragility and balance.
TELL US ABOUT THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH CRAFTING THIS PIECE.
There are many moving parts to the Charm sculptures, a little like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is laser cut then re-assembled in my studio. After they are welded the Charms are then powder-coated prior to the LED lighting being installed.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO COMPLETE THIS PIECE?
One month and I fabricated this piece in my studio. I either design or fabricate the pieces in my studio at Wade Sand and Gravel Quarry, or once the sculptures become too large in scope, I work with fabricators to construct my design and I oversee the project.
HOW DO YOU WANT THE SCULPTURE GARDEN AUDIENCE TO LOOK AT YOUR WORK?
Sculpture interwoven into the public realm can serve as a social catalyst and a way to reveal complex ideas and issues in an engaging way. I hope that my work inspires one to think about the interconnectivity of our lives and consider how the way we live directly and indirectly impacts our communities and our environment.
WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE THE AUDIENCE TAKES AWAY FROM YOUR PIECE?
As a sculptor and installation artist, my work has been heavily influenced by an interest in biological forms and light. Coupled with my interest in nature is a fascination for technical and scientific advances. As a result, a unique style has evolved that reflect my understanding of the natural world by using industrial materials, computer numeric cutting methods (CNC) and organically inspired designs to create solar powered light sculptures. By combining green consciousness with forward thinking and sustainable designs, each piece of artwork fabricated is a functional solar powered light sculpture that pays tribute to nature’s beautiful efficiency.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU?
I am endlessly intrigued by innovations in science and how that affects the arts and vice versa - the relationship between the two.
WHY DO YOU DO THE WORK YOU DO?
My studio is in the home of the Old Republic Steel Mill and what is now the Wade Sand and Gravel Quarry in the heart of the “Birmingham District.” For many of the sculpture projects that I work on, I incorporate limestone boulders that have been harvested from an area in the quarry with 600 million years of geological history. The process of harvesting the limestone brings a certain awareness and perspective to my work. The second element of influence is the backdrop of the old steel mill that brought in the industrial development of the whole region.
“When I begin creating a concept for public artwork, it is an evolutionary process. The request for proposal generally states the mission of the project and what hopes to be achieved with the public art piece. The journey begins as an artist, the moment I attempt to translate the project concept into a vision that can be realized into sculptural form. When the form is received and understood, then the process is successful and extremely rewarding for everyone involved along the way, and for years to come when one engages with the work of art.”
WHERE DO YOU HAVE OTHER WORKS?
Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida, Alabama, Massachusetts, Maryland, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Tennessee, Utah.
HOW DO YOU FINANCE THE WORK THAT YOU DO?
The majority of my commissions come through public art programs and the work is commissioned by city municipalities, libraries, parks - etc. I do sell limited work through galleries.