Last spring I was invited to exhibit at RMCAD in their small Rude Gallery. The space is 15 feet by 8 feet with 12 foot tall ceilings. I wasn't sure what I wanted to investigate for my new body of work, but by July I had decided on tornadoes. Growing up in Kansas, I have always identified with tornadoes as they were a constant force every year that brought curiosity, fear and excitement to the late spring and early summer days. The sky grows dark and ominous, turns to a moody grey green, then a stillness and the storm breaks in. Great thunderstorms with vast lightning would streak across the skies and there was a real sense of being alive.
As tornadoes swept across the US in unprecedented areas this year, I felt that my personal identification with them was somehow shifted. "What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours" is a new series of artwork that explores these thoughts. The Rude Gallery exhibition contains a large tornado sculpture based on one of my drawings. Exhibition dates are August 26th through October 7th, 2011. A painting, drawing and printmaking exhibition of the same title will be held at Naropa's Lincoln Gallery in October.
The sculpture "What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours" is made of steel, wire, wood, fabric, fiber fill, paint, sand, hand made rope, papier mache and fur. Mathias Leppitsch donated so much time in helping me by welding the armature, problem solving potential issues, assisting in the planning and install and in general making sure that I kept my cool as time ran out. Major thanks goes out to him.
Concrete Stair Construction:
The finished piece: