Charlie Brouwer, sculptor of “And then one day …it happened” said “Recently most of my outdoor sculptures have been human figures. The ideas for them come from my personal experiences. Occasionally I experience, or think something that seems to resonate with meaning going beyond my personal life and I turn it into a sculpture. I hope viewers will recognize in these figures something of what it means to be human.
I make them out of locust wood that grows in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live. Locust has been the traditional wood of choice for fence posts because it is extremely hard and very resistant to weather and rot. This also makes it a good material for outdoor sculptures.
For each sculpture I use some locust directly from logs and limbs, and some that has been cut into lumber by sawmills. Together they suggest the way we humans seem to be both part of nature and products of our own invention.
We live in a difficult era – humans and the earth are in trouble on every front. I cannot make art without thinking about this situation.
I find myself asking – how should we live, what should we do, what is beautiful, true, good, and important now?”
The wood looks wonderfully faded to almost white with a striding figure at the base undergoing a sudden metamorphosis -becoming a ladder reaching toward the sky.
I love philosophy in sculpture. I’m so lucky to have these close to my house.
I didn’t have the privilege of watching the installation process of this piece in the Cary Sculpture Exhibit so I took pictures afterward. Here are a couple of handy tips for photographing sculpture.
1. Do not eat king crab legs the night before you take pictures no matter how succulent and delicious they look. The little spiky things in the shells poke into your finger tips and it’s really painful the next day when you’re trying to press the buttons on your camera.
2. Bring something to brush off bird poo from the sculptures with. I wish someone had said something to me before I went! Instead I had to use my hand.
3. Wear old clothes for rolling around in the dirt and grass. Check your hair for grass, dirt and insects *before* you meet someone for lunch.
4. Don’t panic when the person in the office behind the sculpture you’re photographing looks wide eyed at you from their window and suddenly closes the blinds. At this point there’s still a good chance they won’t actually report you to the police as a stalker.
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