Redbud East Gallery
September 7 - October 1, 2019
Saturday, September 7, 2019
6pm to 9pm
“I met Bob when he stopped by at the gallery and showed his fiber-based works. Looking at his latest pieces, I was intrigued from the start as they illustrated a three-dimensional, architectural arrangement, employing illuminated as well as dim areas to create a feeling of depth. The formation of light and dark zones in his work combined with a three-dimensional property, draws the viewer into his striking sculptural works of art.
Bob started his artistic career in photography exploring the darkest and the lightest of shades a photograph can hold to express a unique ambience. He understood that gradation of light creates countless dimensions to give an image a feel of depth and complexity. He used this awareness to fabricate his three-dimensional shapes in a different medium in order to create the illusion of sculptural forms utilizing fiber material. He spent countless hours on the sewing machine stitching, seaming, and thread painting which resulted in these conceptual and volumetric art pieces, represented at Redbud Gallery.”
-Tanja Peterson, Redbud Gallery Director
"Most of my life has been spent as a sculptor, however, an undergraduate degree in photography makes it impossible to ignore light, and how it falls across a surface. So it came as a surprise that clients, going through sketches I made for them of possible sculptures, had difficulty translating 2-D to 3-D; to perceive them as having actual depth.
As a Kite maker, I fabricated, flew and exhibited internationally for years. Those traditional quilt patterns utilized shading to create the illusion of colorful sculptural forms across their surfaces through techniques of fabric construction. So as years of welding, grinding, lifting of 100’s of pounds’ of steel, and a few shoulder surgeries gradually caught up with me; I began to think of other materials, materials that would extend my art-making another 25-30 years. As I had already spent an inordinate amount time on a sewing machine. Fiber seemed a logical material to return to.
This series traces my experimentation with the sewing machine and the technique of Tread Painting, the continuous movement of fabric under a moving needle. The work for this show was made on 3 stationary Bernina sewing machines using more than 70 miles of Gutermann thread. In the beginning I was intent on creating the illusion of space, much as I had done in drawings of sculpture. Gradually I began to create the structure of 3-D underscored by the gradation of light and dark across the implied surfaces. Later works would evolve to have the appearance of pieces actually falling off. There are many examples of Tromper l'œil, where I attempt to fool the eye of the viewer into seeing the 2-D as 3-D, and vice-versa.
The work still requires hours in the studio. However, time will often suspend itself and the hours pass with the rhythmic hum of the sewing needle pulling thread endlessly through fabric. As the left brain becomes occupied with controlling the sewing, the right side can meander freely making usual and unusual connections. I have solved some of my biggest quandaries in this meditative state."