Forms on a Catenary Curve (maquette)

Wood, steel cables and platforms
Approx. 3.5 feet x 10 feet x 3 feet

A catenary is the curve a cable takes under its own weight. It has one spot level to the ground, then in either direction from there it becomes increasingly angled. Here, the central form stands in balance on the middle, level platform. The other four forms have the same parts, but by varying the angle between the second and third pieces in one direction or the other, each is able to stand in balance, adapting to its particular circumstances.

This work helped me find a theme that had been present in my work for years, but always a bit obfuscated — hiding behind the form: the tension between vulnerability and resilience. Each of the five forms stands precariously balanced on a small foot; this precariousness is accentuated by the void beneath the ‘bridge’ that they stand on. And each faces its own unique angle to the ground, its own particular circumstance to which it must adapt and reach equilibrium, or tumble down.

This was my initial maquette for a later, larger, outdoor sculpture.

I created this work during my one-year fellowship at the Château de la Napoule in southern France, as part of being awarded the 2022-2023 Prix Henry Clews from the La Napoule Art Foundation.