12 x 8 x 3 in
22 x 11 x 5 in
11 x 7 x 3 in
Fully Forth Emerging
23 x 17 x 7 in
17 x 11 x 5in
Pigment ink print on Hanhnemuhls photo rag paper
9.5 x 9.5 in
12 x 7 x 4 in
Archival pigment print on Canson photo rag paper
13.25 x 18 in
American, b. 1934 Rochester, NY, based in New York, NY
Artist’s Statement on NATURE’S DECONSTRUCTION
“Nature is continually breaking down and reconstructing our environment. Many years
ago I became fascinated with the beauty of tree limbs and branches as they disintegrate through the actions of water and sun. The energy of the wood - its muted colors and infinite patterns of graining as well as its broken forms have a power for me, suggesting something that endures even as a tree completes its life cycle.
I began collecting wood that washed up on the beaches near my home before finding the endless supply of river wood below the dam in Bellows Falls. My work represents a struggle for sensuousness by transforming and revaluing a material often considered refuse into objects that are appealing and alive. Using this wood, stripped bare of its bark and washed smooth by the Connecticut River, I construct dynamic sculptures that mirror natural compositions in the environment. At times I even attempt to imitate the chaos of wood limbs thrown onto the river’s banks. In assembling the branches I create a subtle play of color in shades of rust, hazel, silver and charcoal. They present not only the enduring aspect of nature but the unique beauty expressed through its vulnerability to the ravages of time.
In most of my work, the wood is left in its natural state. Occasionally a piece is painted in vibrant colors to make the lyrical patterns of its construction more explicit. I use phrases from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass for titles to express my exuberance and passion for the natural world. ”
Artist’s Statement on Making Sculpture with Bellows Falls Wood
I discovered an endless collection of river-washed wood in a bend of the Connecticut River near the Railroad Station about 25 years ago. My friend, Robert McBride, who lives across the street from the site had been using if for his sculpture and encouraged me to take a look. I finally followed his advice and was overwhelmed by the amount of wood available. I was also impressed by the random way it piled up on the rocks after flowing over the dam. This pattern created by water power has greatly influenced the way I use the wood in my work, trying to recreate, in a more organized fashion, the chaotic energy of wood limbs and stumps thrown onto the river bank.
I began my assemblages of found wood 30 years ago, using large pieces of driftwood that I found on the Jersey shore beaches where I lived. Later I bought cedar pieces from landscape design suppliers and partially painted them to overcome the monotony of their uniformly gray color. The Bellows Falls wood gave me a new palette. It came in many colors: silvery grays, charcoal, golden tans and dark brown. I no longer felt the need to paint the wood. It had been stripped bare of its bark by the water and had a sensuous smoothness. I also found it had been ”cured” by its months behind the dam so that it was free of bugs. For the past 20 years I left the wood in its natural state, adding no oil or wax but recently I returned to painting it as well. I look forward each spring to the new “crop” that comes over the dam with a fresh supply of sculptural shapes.
Phyllis Rosser constructs sculptures made of wood found along the shores of the Connecticut River. Rosser’s compositions reflect the natural way the wood is found, honed to its essence by water and time.
The artist finds inspiration in the material itself, revealing a subtle play of texture and color in shades of rust, hazel, silver and charcoal. The intertwining pieces of each work show a struggle between sensuality and strength. Rosser is drawn to the vulnerability in the decay of nature and its enduring ability to transform and create new life.
Canal Street Art Gallery
23 Canal Street, Bellows Falls, Vermont
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10-5
Bellows Falls 3rd Friday Gallery Night 5-7
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