- Gallery Dog
one of the world's foremost wire sculptors, Elizabeth Berrien brings a
new collection of animal sculptures woven from single strands of wire
to Gallery Dog.
five-foot baby giraffe was hand-twisted from electric fence wire,
over from a horse fencing project in my back yard.
Other electric fence sculptures include a leaping stag, an eagle head
trailing wisps of wire, and a large pair of snails. A vividly colorful
Chinese Dragon makes use of telephone wire, coated clothesline, and all
the other colored bits that accumulate about the artist's old town
studio over the Art Center.
One of the least pre-possessing works in the collection is Berrien's
made while the artist was still a teenager in 1968.
a jumbled, barely recognizable, three-toed feline. But so much better
than I could draw at the time. I was so creatively frustrated back
then. I could see all the energy lines in animals, but I couldn't
express them on paper. Wire was very forgiving. If I didn't like a
line, tweaking it a little would make it better. And the more I
practiced, the better they got...
Every year, for thirty-five years, Elizabeth Berrien has immersed
herself in a personal exploration of wire sculpture, a virtually
untapped medium at the time she took it up. Every year, she's learned
to master the technical difficulties of making wire behave. Not just to
fix the lines that express and define living creatures, but also to
incorporate a surprisingly strong and resilient superstructure. The
resulting harmonious union of lace-making and engineering creates works
that look like intricate, 3-dimensional line drawings. Her sculptures
are in homes and landscapes on every continent besides Antarctica,
we're working on that.
|Learning that the British author
of a book
was putting together a web site directory of international wire
sculptors, Berrien submitted images of her works and was granted a
personal page in the site's gallery section. She is considered to be
among the finest of all living wire sculptors.
Berrien enjoys the particular challenge of creating remembrances of
animals special to her clientele; several north coast families have
portraits of their own dogs, cats, horses and birds. She just completed
a life-sized equine sculpture for acclaimed horseman Richard Shrake,
folding it like origami to fit it in a stuff sack to fly it to Oregon.
At the airport itself, she carefully unbent and smoothed the sculpture,
to hang on Mr. Shrake's living room wall.
Another landmark-scale Berrien sculpture is the much beloved Pegasus
hanging in Louisville International Airport. In November, Berrien will
be flown to Louisville to consult on the removal, cleaning and storage
of the Pegasus while the terminal undergoes renovation. During her
stay, she's slated to give workshops at local schools and possibly
conduct a slide lecture with the Louisville Art Association.
The Gallery Dog exhibit runs from September 1 to September 30.
Elizabeth Berrien will demonstrate her hand-twisted technique at the
artists' reception during Arts Alive, Saturday September 6 from 6 to 9
Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931
· email firstname.lastname@example.org
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