Conversation Piece  Install ,  IA&A at Hillyer Photo: ©   Michael Hipwell

Conversation Piece Install, IA&A at Hillyer
Photo: © Michael Hipwell

My work explores the concept of passage. Passage is the act or process of moving through, under, over or past something on its way from one place to another. Passage can also produce alterations and lead to transformation. I am endlessly curious about this ever present force that puts everything in flux; from the thoughts and images that occur in our dreams, to sub-atomic particles jostling and colliding. 

My process usually follows this sequence; I create a form such as a star, then I make an environment in or on which to place it. Other times, the foundation is built first, which then needs a focal point to activate it. It is within these interactions that my concepts are explored. Actions appear to be in process or paused, and the past and future are unknown. Time and place are imagined and so are the moments of transformation. Some works reference windows, floors, stairs, or rooftops. “Molten Moment” (2016), began with a staircase structure ... I added string and painted it glossy white which appears to flow down from the top. This flow rearranges the normal associations of passage upon the steps, into a moving current. The finishing touch on the staircase is a gilded pyramid of spheres which triggers a transformation and elevates the ordinary into a theatrical stage. 

Actions appear to be in process ... the past and future are unknown.

As a small child, I had a love of design. Whether preferring to make elaborate pictures over completing my class work, rearranging furniture in my bedroom, or amassing collections for my display shelves, I was destined to be an artist. My education began at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA.  I soon realized my desire to study fine art. After one year, I transferred to The Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC where I received my BFA in 1995. After graduating as a painting major, I was employed as a decorative artist, apprenticing at a local studio in Georgetown. For the past 15 years, I have co-owned Studio West Inc., with my wife, Tracey West. While maintaining a successful small business over the years, I continued to keep my eye on the art world. Through my trade, I have painted on multiple surfaces including walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture. Working in three dimensional environments has influenced my fine art direction, where I now consider myself a sculptor. I use common building and household materials such as boards, string, glass, plaster, and Styrofoam and either leave them in their raw or muted state, or transform them completely. My references explore movement and location ... combinations of fixed and fluid elements activate experiences within each work. My sculptures are places to mentally land upon, get caught within, or to take off from.