The Four Corners Arts Center has been busy this year, and their latest installment came boldly in the form of steel, making for a striking sculpture-park opening and offering poignant enthusiasm for the world of nature, sculpture, and poetry.
Staggered on the lawn of the Meeting House, muscular works of steel pose frozen amidst the trees in a deft combination of power and submission. A wolf, elk, deer, and porcupine stand juxtaposed in a shaded wood. These sculptures are the works of Wendy Klemperer, a Brooklyn based sculpture artist who has devoted her career to exploring the animal world and relationship of both beauty and beast. She found this most recent home for her work in the woodlands of Tiverton Four Corners where the landscape itself becomes part of the exhibit as it weaves through negative spaces in the work.
Wendy describes her animals as “raw, present, and absent,” all imagined with the potential for new life. But the process to create them begins in a junkyard. Wendy searches scraps for discarded pieces of workable metal to weld into sophisticated sculptures, transforming lifeless, tarnished metal into artistic splendor. Grand in posture and poise, her sculptures are both graceful and fierce and their presence is arresting.
Curator Kate Mullen found the space for this exhibit and likewise sparked the idea of mixing the sculpture with written word. She invited poet David O’Connell to create a poetic verse to accompany the exhibit. “It was my first on demand piece,” he said, but found a jolt of inspiration in the vocabulary of Wendy’s work. “Extricated,” he says was an unfamiliar word but eventually inspiring to his evocative poem. “Banished they Return to Us” weaves a story from multiple perspectives –the viewer and then eventually the animals themselves– capturing the essence of Wendy’s emotional art works: a transformation of something forgotten.
Kate Mullen wanted the exhibit to be accessible to children and adults alike, a vision come true as all ages gathered with fascination at the sculpture park opening. David O’Connell along with his wife will be offering a free poetry workshop for kids on August 6th.
You can view the sculpture exhibit anytime on the lawn of the Meeting House and also during the Four Corners Art’s Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration this August 18th at the Meeting House. Kid friendly, teenager approved, and grownup favored, this exhibit is worth a trip to Four Corners this summer.