copper

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Art

Copper Wire Weaves and Spirals into Organic Sculptural Forms by the Late Artist Bronwyn Oliver

May 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Ammonite” (2005), copper, 95 x 90 x 90 centimeters. All images courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, shared with permission

Widely regarded as one of the most renowned sculptors in Australia, the late artist Bronwyn Oliver possessed an unparalleled ability to shape thin copper wire into intricate patterns. Her sculptures of ammonites, palm leaves, and single buds are minimal in form and incredibly detailed in construction, with oscillating lines delineating the edge of a fossil or an elaborate web expanding into a plump cherry blossom.

Evidence of Oliver’s devoted and time-consuming practice, the pieces are the result of intense twisting and brazing, a higher-temperature version of soldering. “My sculpture, I like to think of them as the bones of something. It might only be bone, but it might be the beginning or ending of something as well,” the artist says in a clip from the recent documentary about her life and work, The Shadows Withinthe trailer is available on YouTube, but the full documentary is only streaming in Australia at the moment.

Oliver has gained greater recognition in recent years and is included in the corrective exhibition held at The National Gallery of Australia. Know My Name, which runs through June 26, showcases works from dozens of women who’ve significantly contributed to the country’s culture. Oliver’s sculptures are housed in major Australian collections, including those at The National Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Victoria, and her public pieces can be seen at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, the University of New South Wales, and Queen Street Mall in Brisbane. (via Women’s Art)

 

“Fringe” (2006), copper, 107 x 107 x 10 centimeters

“Sakura” (2006), copper, 48 x 48 x 20 centimeters

“Globe” (2002), copper, 2.5 meters in diameter

“Grandiflora (Bud)” (2005), copper, 60 x 58 x 58 centimeters

Left: “Palm” (1999), copper, 190 x 180 x 180 centimeters. Right: “Magnolia” (1999), copper, 210 x 150 x 150 centimeters

“Grandiflora (Bloom)” (2005), copper, 63 x 63 x 55 centimeters

“Eyrie” (1993), copper, bronze, 500 x 200 x 50 centimeters

 

 



Art Craft

Folds in Recurring Patterns Form the Tessellated Origami Sculptures by Goran Konjevod

February 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Goran Konjevod, shared with permission

Whether folding flat, square tessellations or rounded forms that billow from a central point, origami artist  Goran Konjevod (previously) focuses on the tension inherent in a single sheet of material. His sculptures draw on his background in mathematics and computer science and configure precise geometries, fanned pleats, and small woven pieces that appear to be individual strips threaded together rather than a series of carefully aligned creases. Each form is a meticulous blend of texture, pattern, and dimension that’s translated into elegant, abstract constructions through repetitive folds.

In recent months, Konjevod has shifted to working with paper infused with encaustic paint, although he’s also created an array of knotted creatures, twisted ropes, and small vessels out of thin sheets of copper, other metals, and mesh. You can find hundreds of his sculptures on his site, and take a peek into his process on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

In ‘Boogey Men,’ Monumental New Works by Hugh Hayden Reflect on American Culture and Politics

December 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Al images courtesy of ICA Miami, by Zachary Balber, shared with permission

An exhibition now on view at ICA Miami samples the recurring themes and motifs that are central to artist Hugh Hayden’s body of work: twisting flames spout from a wooden Adirondack chair and spindly twigs envelop a massive skeleton carved from bald cypress trees, two works that evoke the Dallas native’s barbed furniture and embedded branch designs. In a suspended installation comprised of metallic instruments and pots, faces mimicking traditional African masks emerge from copper cookware similar to the cast iron skillets he presented last year.

The metaphorical new pieces comprise Boogey Men, Hayden’s solo show that responds to myriad social dynamics, cultural issues, and an increasingly tense political environment through imposing, anthropomorphic forms and more subtle works. At the center of the exhibition space is a hammered stainless steel car disguised by a sheet painted in white. Both cartoonish and sinister in its reference to hooded Klansmen, the titular sculpture is an effective indictment of police brutality. Hayden gives attention to the origins of facets of American culture in the pieces that surround that central work, alluding to jazz and culinary traditions.

Boogey Men is on view in Miami through April 17, 2022, before it travels to the Blaffer Art Museum for a stay from June 11 to August 21. You can find more of Hayden’s work and view the process behind many of the pieces shown here on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Baskets Made of Twisted Copper Wire Evoke Seed Pods, Marine Creatures, and Other Organic Forms

August 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sally Blake, shared with permission

Whether standing a few inches tall or reaching more than a foot, the metallic vessels that Sally Blake weaves are all inspired by a single, skeletonized seedpod the Canberra-based artist found herself in possession of. “It was given to me by someone who understood my grief after my mother died, and it represented much of what I was feeling and experiencing,” she says. “It was vulnerable and yet resilient, and gently held its seed—the source of potential new life and inspiration.”

That original pod has since spurred dozens of baskets in varying sizes that Blake molds from lengths of copper wire. She manipulates the pliable material with tight coils and twists that rely on pattern and sinuous lines, creating organic forms evocative of seeds, sea creatures, lungs, and other natural shapes. The metal’s durability juxtaposes with the ephemeral, delicate subject matter, a contrast the artist draws as a way to speak to life’s cycles.

Blake’s works are on view through September 11 at Craft ACT in Canberra for her solo show titled Place Markers. Find baskets, pen-and-ink vessel drawings, and printed cards in her shop, and keep up with her multi-media practice on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Gravity-Driven Marble Run Sculptures Are Comprised of Precisely Soldered Copper Pathways

May 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

LittleBall Creations matches the inventive spirit of Wallace & Gromit’s titular character with an elaborately constructed rolling ball sculpture shaped like the rocket ship that headlined the classic animation’s first episode. Complete with mechanisms inspired by the show, the four-track piece is just one of the complexly coiled works created by the Southampton-based designer, who solders copper tubing into lengthy, winding runs. Whether motorized, aided by an Archimedes screw, or relying on the natural pull of gravity, each of the pathways is just big enough for a marble or ball bearing to slide through.

Watch the compilation above for an overview of LittleBall Creations’ most recent designs, and check out the extensive archive, which includes a dizzying Helter Skelter-inspired birdcage, plump apple,  and swirling fling machine, on YouTube. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Art

Copper Animal Sculptures by Artist Wang Ruilin Are Embedded with Nature’s Sublime Elements

August 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

“66°​​​​​​​ N” (2020), copper and paint. . All images © Wang Ruilin

Artist Wang Ruilin (previously) visualizes nature’s interconnectivity by literally imprinting a rocky terrain or ice cap onto the bodies of wild animals. His recent copper-and-paint sculptures include a panda with a black back stripe and limbs that are covered in a mountainous ridge and a white blanket of clouds. Similarly, the waters of the Arctic Circle wrap around a polar bear’s lower back and hind legs, contrasting its otherwise smooth fur. Often positioned in states of repose, the creatures are evoking Earth’s most sublime features through surreal placements. See more of the Ruilin’s recent sculptures below, and head to Behance and Instagram for glimpses into his process.

 

“Above Cloud” (2020), copper and paint

“Above Cloud” (2020), copper and paint

“66°​​​​​​​ N” (2020), copper and paint

“66°​​​​​​​ N” (2020), copper and paint

“DREAMS Rhino (No. 04)” (2015), copper and paint

“DREAMS Rhino (No. 04)” (2015), copper and paint

“HIDE.SEEK – DOUZHANSHENGFO” (2015), copper and paint

“HIDE.SEEK – DOUZHANSHENGFO” (2015), copper and paint