|: fabricated steel sculpture|
by David Edgar
I believe that there continues to be validity in the atelier tradition of creating of durable formal sculpture, which is accessible to the public's intellect. As an artist and educator, I advocate the mission of the arts not only to investigate and reflect on the immediate issues of our culture, but also to be pragmatic about the future.
These sculptures are part of the Witness Series, an ongoing celebration of the trials, tribulations, successes, and follies of everyday heroes i.e., Witnesses. This series is characterized by one or more amorphous, "gesturally" carved figures placed in an architectonic setting. The figurative Witness elements are demographically neutral in order to provide viewers with the opportunity to see these Witnesses as surrogates for their own heroic potential. Narrated in part with descriptive titles, the Witness Series relates to issues of spiritual challenge, societal responsibility, and heroic opportunity in our daily lives.
The larger compositions of the Witness Series pieces are influenced by architecture, landscape and theatrical set design with an elevated stage-like planer element. Linear components, frequently in sets of three, move throughout all three dimensions of these works leading viewers to discover a variety of different perspectives about the sculpture. The patterns made by these linear elements allude to the influence of flowing energy/information/spirituality and are informed by images found in technology, consumer culture and the natural sciences.
The media of this work is fabricated steel, finished with a personally developed four-step oxidation process. The components are made from standard rolling and extrusion mill-produced steel. Techniques involved in forming the work include: gas tungsten arc welding; abrasive grinding; torch and saw cutting; hydraulic shearing; bench forging; hot bending and most particularly, oxy-acetylene torch carving.
Each of these sculptures are formatted fully in the round. The structural geometry of the work supports a significant range of different compositions within each piece based on the changing angles of view. While the actual sizes of these works are modest, the compositions have a significant flexibility of scale and may also be considered in the context of design maquettes for potential large-scale public art commissions.
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