Jessie Wilber Gallery
Hooked on Svelte
By Joel S. Allen
Over the past fifteen years, I’ve worked to hone and refine processes and skills for stacking, wrapping and constructing large fiber sculptures using many different materials, including sisal, yarn, wine corks, pill bottles, plastic tubing, copper, acrylic sheeting, rubber, nylon, wire, paper pulp and wood. Until recently, sisal had been my material of choice for most wrapping projects, totaling well over one hundred miles of twine worked through my fingertips to date. The notion of taking a line and creating large-scale, three-dimensional sculptures has always been an alluring challenge to me.
On its own, a strand of twine or yarn is fibrous and flimsy, but through wrapping, I sculpt it into fluid, organic forms. The pieces I have made thus far from these odd materials combine to transcend the contexts of the materials, resulting in new structures and a different perception of these materials. My “constructions” always begin with the necessity of establishing an intimate relationship with my materials, one that only an investment of time and experimentation can foster. I am diligently searching for that elusive harmony between what seems somewhat familiar, but mysterious, somewhat odd, yet elegant – for that abstracted sense of formal perfection only defined by an innate feeling.