Whirlabout

Bryan Rasmussen

33.75" x 9" x 7"
Painted Steel

$5,500

Artist Website

Artist Statement

Simplicity and precision are properties that I explore in my work. I first found these properties in nature. Throughout my life I have spent a lot of time outdoors observing the small things that surrounded me such as seed pods, bones and rocks, all of which are things that I collect. The geometry that is revealed by a burst seed pod is fascinating to me. I would, if I could push them closed again and again so that I could see exactly how each compartment fits together with its neighbors and imagine the force that made the little explosions possible that pushed them open causing their seeds to scatter.

Finding bones of small animals is also exciting to me. It is rare to find a complete skeleton in the forest so it is a small thrill to find two or three bones that belong together. If I find bones like this then pressing them together and manipulating them to see their range of motion and observing what features they possess that naturally facilitate or inhibit their actions is of keen interest to me. Also of interest is observing how they fit so necessarily comfortably together like sculptural puzzle pieces.

The rocks that helped to inspire this body of work are not always the most beautiful to look at as far as shape and color are concerned, but they are interesting to me in the same way that the pods and bones are. I look at rocks that are fractured, that have come apart and can be pressed back together perfectly in a way that causes the fracture to disappear. My favorites among these are rocks, that if pressed together hard enough, will not fall apart again immediately without a little applied force.

I have chosen a very simple and direct approach to express my observations through my work. I start with a three-dimensional representation of a basic element of art, the straight line. I then slice the line one or more times and let the pieces slide and shift. The new form that these actions create becomes the sculpture. Working in this way is meditative to me. Each new sculpture is now the result of my thoughts on what I would like to see the previous work do, it has certain elements of the previous work’s design either lessened or emphasized. Work inspires work, this keeps the series constantly growing becoming more complicated at times, less complicated at others, but always moving forward in its original spirit of the exploration of simplicity and precision to make an elegant work of art. 


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