Sculptural Weaving

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Like Rumpelstiltskin, I am creating objects of art by weaving together the ubiquitous and the ephemeral instead of straw. My work is sculptural basketry. Tatlin meets the Appalachian Craft tradition and beautiful organic forms take shape.

I have been working sculpturally with toothpicks since I was a young boy. I discovered using the whips of chair cain several years ago, they are the same thickness as a toothpick but they continue on in a long whip. My building technique is based on R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic building. My forms are much more organic. Their scale tends to be basket size. They want to sit comfortably on a hatbox size pedestal. They are constructed using hot glue to secure the volume. Then they are dipped in a water based glue/paint solution. Additionally, some of the figures have layers of bee’s wax. I have also experimented with plaster, road striping paint, paraffin.
In this work, the toothpick is the perfect brick. It is capable of making accurate equilateral triangles, or, creating different patterns such as fans, herringbones, and parallel building. Unlike the clay brick which wants to form long straight lines, this building style flows and floats up from the base. Like the brick it is predominantly whole but can be trimmed to fit in a space occasionally.
I see the way I connect toothpicks relating to the way I make connections with people. I am a web builder creating a web around myself, the volume. I find I am like that with people, finding connections, building relationships.
This year, I used my sculptural building to create displays. This gave me the means to display my graphic design and photography within the context of my sculpture. I have also begun to explore using sticks found in nature as the basis for my building. They have a completely different geometry which I am finding is leading more in the direction of rendering the human form.

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Show Opening

Raven's Nest Gallery Art Show Aug 10 to Sep 5August 10th, 2012
The big day is here.

Gerry Monaghan Flickr Photos