Artist in residence & the beginning of the Void Series

I recently had the amazing opportunity to spend a week in Utah for the soul purpose of creating. Through Summit's expanding artist residency program I was able to conceptualize and create sculptures that I otherwise would not have and had a blast doing so.  I met some truly amazing and inspiring people along the way and founded friendships that I will have for a lifetime. 

The landscapes of Utah, specifically Eden and Powder Mountain, are truly stunning. Located in a valley,  you are surrounded completely by epic snow covered mountains and views that stop you in your tracks. It's quite difficult not to be inspired by the beauty in which such pristine nature provides. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on creating pieces that flowed through my hands and design instinct rather than relying on blueprints and measurements. Often times artists spend so much time in the process of preparing and conceptualizing an artwork that they lose their "flow" and tend create more of an inanimate object rather than an evocative piece. Less thought-out and more improvised the idea of "sculptural sketching" was presented and I went with it.  

I've always been particularly fond of sculpture as it adds a level of complexity that painting does not. Three dimensions  and essentially endless amounts of possibility in regards to size and materials. It is also far more difficult as the artist has to consider the form and the pieces'  aesthetic properties when viewed from every angle. 

THE VOID SERIES 

I decided to classify these sculptures under the  "Void Series" as the negative voids conceived by the lines become equally,  if not more important to the form than the lines themselves.  Encapsulating space and evoking movement these sculptures are all about the flow that inherently comes from doing what you love.  

By the second day I was starting to find rhythm and  began to develop a stylistic approach with the materials available. I would spend an hour or so the night before quickly sketching general shapes that I thought portrayed movement and that I could visualize in a space.  I would then bend and shape the steel to represent those lines in a physical space improvising as I went.  It was a rather difficult decision whether or not to leave the sculptures bare metal or to paint them. In the end, I reached a compromise with my inner voice and left some areas exposed with a clear coat to prevent rust.  I decided to also hand stitch some leather for  its tactile quality and warmness to accompany the rawness of the steel. 

The Results 

By Saturday  I was able to finish all the pieces in time to show my week's worth of progress  at the Skylodge deck overlooking mountains as far as the eye can see. In the end it was a phenomenal experience that I will remember forever. Working in my dream shop, using my hands, and creating quality works all in the presence of unwavering beauty is something I can certainly aspire to do for the rest of my life.  I'm so very thankful to  Summit for opening up their space and welcoming me with open arms.  I will be back.

The Skylodge

The Skylodge

Photo by Marshall Birnbaum

Photo by Marshall Birnbaum

End of the first day. Made from one solid 25' long round bar. 

End of the first day. Made from one solid 25' long round bar. 

Shop view

Shop view

By the fifth day I had fabricated 4 sculptures and was making a mad dash (per usual) for the unveiling. 

tools
Void #2 Aka Moon Doggy

Void #2 Aka Moon Doggy

Void #3  Lamp - Steel, Leather, Jatoba, and light

Void #3  Lamp - Steel, Leather, Jatoba, and light

Void #4 - Steel, leather, enamel - 7'

Void #4 - Steel, leather, enamel - 7'

Void #1  Steel 

Void #1  Steel 

Brandon MikeComment