paper sculpture & installation
Technically, making paper sculpture or sculptural installations starts in my studio, creating the paper pulp for the purpose at hand; and/or developing any needed armature or structural support in the desired technique and material. Each one is a challenge because each one comes from a nearly completely new and different process. The options are so numerous that it’s impossible to get adjusted or complacent—the next work will offer yet another challenge, reliably.
Navigating Below the Surface is comprised of nearly 50 spear-like poured pieces colored in luminescent pulp. I wanted to envelope a large room with stalactites that were larger than I remembered seeing, and with more saturated color than I had seen. The exaggeration was key: the pointed, long, zigzag forms, endlessly repeated, treated with continuous gestural applications of surface color in pulp paint.
Wall from the Wall contains up to 18 elements. It has been installed with as few as 9 at a time. Each element is a pulp-painted, cast work of handmade paper. Based on the gnarly appearance of cave walls, seemingly scraped away to make room for the glorious stalactites and stalagmites, this paper wall is in reality a container, housing and reflecting beauty and strength—and is made up of individual elements which embody that mirror as well.
Highland relief sculptures are my most ambitious encaustic / paper / netting works to date. They describe, in a set of four works, my principal perception of being on site in the western Scottish highlands. The continuity, power, stature, rhythm, magnetism and color of the ambience all should live within the sculptures as they do in the highlands.
The Small Highland Castings are intimate interpretations of a landscape in motion—and these pieces could as easily be viewed as water rather than land. They speak of fluidity, of primordial color, and impermanence or changeability of form. These are encaustic on cast handmade paper, both media that are conducive to shape-shifting.
The Stalactite series of castings are done either in handmade paper or in hand-beaten amate-style paper, and painted with encaustic. They permit intense investigation of the luxuriously polished but uneven texture and color within the luminous surface of a hanging stalactite.
The Particolari sculptural reliefs came about after drawing the Amalfi coast and other landscape and architectural delicacies on site in Italy. They are made of handmade paper, and liquid, colored paper pulp creates the color—there is no other paint involved. So both the form and the color are sculpted. The compelling landscapes of Amalfi and Ravello, two towns on the coast, plus towers and rooftops and other intrigues throughout the country provide a focus of visual interest.
Frasassi is a set of more than 80 elements which are assembled to create installations of varying attributes. The elements themselves were created during a residency in Fabriano, Italy, in which I designed them to reflect and augment color and pattern observed on cave walls. I wax-treated these fragments in my home studio and have assembled them in installations in Turkey (Navigation Below the Surface) and in Maryland (Frasassi at Pyramid Atlantic).