January 26 2016

Breathtaking New Wire Sculptures Wrap Figures in Flowers

Artist Gavin Worth just sent word that he’s created a whole new series of wire sculptures called “Flora.” Made completely out of bent steel, figures are beautifully wrapped around in an array of flowers. I first discovered Worth’s work back in September 2011, when he was bending back black wire to create freestanding line drawings. Since then, he’s refined his process, using heavier metal. I love that, this time, he shot each piece with and without its shadow.

Read my short interview with Worth, below.

Where did the inspiration for this series come from?
These pieces are rooted in the exploration of the fragility, of that delicate tipping point, between beauty and decay. When does growth become decline, and what is the ambiguity between them?

I suppose these were inspired by big changes. I moved from Egypt to Switzerland. I’m living close to nature again, where the cycle of life is very pronounced. I’m married to the love of my life. I’ve experienced profound illness and lost loved ones. These things alter the lines you draw.

Visually, I’ve been obsessed with the work of the Vienna Secession artists. The way that Klimt, for example, was so successful in creating such beautiful decorative pieces that combine forms from nature with an intimate psychology has been a huge influence on me.

How long did these take to create?
The design process for each sculpture is intensive and takes quite a while, but once the concept is roughed out, worked through, and refined, it takes roughy 2-3 weeks in the workshop to bend the steel, cut the rods to precise fits, weld them, and grind them to a finished state. The bases for these pieces are also shaped by hand, so in total, each piece takes roughly a month to make.

I noticed that you are now showing the shadows on the wall. Why?
To me, the shadows emphasize the fragility and transience of the pieces. The medium echos this. The sculptures are largely empty space — steel lines barely and briefly defining air and light into something that resembles a form. The shadow of something so intangible is even more fleeting, and I hoped this would underscore that sentiment.

What do you hope others get out of these works?
Simply and truly, I hoped that people would find some beauty here. And I hoped that I might explore a small aspect of how things pass away, and perhaps capture a glimpse of the quiet, languorous melancholy that resides in the heart of that.

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Worth will be showing this body of work at his first solo show in Milan, Italy beginning this Thursday at Barbara Frigerio Contemporary Art. The exhibition has been aptly titled, “Sketches in the Air.”

Gavin Worth’s website

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