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September 1 - October 31, 2012, Visual Arts Gallery
Tennessee native Sydney Reichman has worked over 40 years as a studio artist in the mediums of metal, painting and sculptural clay. She currently creates mixed media wall pieces and copper sculptures drawing from her vast vocabulary of sculpting techniques.
Using copper, bronze and brass that is heated with fire, brazed, painted, sculpted and carved, she constructs exciting “poetic narratives” by combining her sculptural elements with ground and painted aluminum “canvases” and wood block. Reichman says she is deeply inspired by the rural, natural world, and that her studio and reclaimed, re-greened valley and "hand–built" home are her life’s “work-in-process” – a sculptural garden of metal, wood, and water.
She reflects, “As a visual artist and land steward, I have absorbed the experience of deeply caring for this wild, woodland world, into a language of symbols and images that I hope will bridge and relate our connection to the enchantment and magic that still exists on our breathtaking and fragile earth.”
Sydney's website: http://www.sydneyreichman.com
Curator for Sydney Reichman's exhibit is Curtis Southerland
Reichman journeyed to Israel and Europe in 1969 in search of a purpose and personal spiritual identity. Having felt a strange but familiar connection to the ancient, historic landscapes, it was here that she began her life's journey as an artist. Returning to Tennessee, she was committed to clay as a medium in the 1970s studying the ceramic arts in workshops and through independent studies.
It was through the study of the ceramic arts that Reichman's work took her from the interpretation of one of a kind vessel forms, to a more monumental version of clay that moved into the architectural realm. Soon she discovered a 60-acre piece of land near Nashville where she transformed a briar-filled swamp into a studio home and sculpture garden, building her own home to become a natural part of the site. This outdoor setting serves as the background for free form metal sculptures. The experience of building and carving the land back into a naturally harmonious and lush state then moved into painting and metal sculpture.
Her metal sculptures first took root in large figurative forms that are both abstract and expressionistic. Reichman's magnificent copper forms or her sinuous clay columns seem to leap in the air like dancers. Further exploration and work in metal resulted in immense pod-like, leafy winged and abstract bird forms. Now in the terrain where the figures merge with nature, the pieces seem to become a part of natural landscape. Regardless of whether the pieces are earth bound, on ponds or in the air, the focus became interaction of art with nature.
Today, Reichman's integration of house and studio has grown into a sculpture garden. Her relationship to her environment, the recovery and healing of the land, has profoundly impacted and enriched her work as an artist.
Reichman continues, "Inspiration comes from rocks, trees, rivers, mountains and the caves of Tennessee, as well as the spirit land of the Middle East and American West. I believe these are all living breathing entities and hold the history and energy of all that has been witnessed. This does not need to be evident as the viewer is the completion of the work just as the audience completes the performance. Much of my work uses elements of wind and water to create meditative and interactive environments.
"It is my challenge to explore these ideas while creating harmonizing and contemplative environments, images and experiences. Through my artistic methods I hope to bring others and myself into an awareness and connection to our world of nature so that we may better heal and protect this amazing universe we all share."
Creative License - Sydney Reichman
Travel to a tiny shop nestled in the hills of Middle Tennessee, where sculptor Sydney Reichman works to the beat of the earth on a journey longing for form from chaos.
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