Saturday, 16 November 2013

Touching Wood

“In all things of Nature there is something of the marvellous”, said Aristotle and, yet, not everybody has the capacity and/or the sensibility to see that. We have to be grateful for the talent of artists who can help us rise above our limitations to actually see how much beauty there can be in materials we tend to simply ignore.

That is exactly what Jeffro Uitto does by creating breathtaking sculptures from driftwood. Based in Tokeland, Washington, he patiently rummages the shores of his place, as well as the banks of Smith Creek and the valleys between the Willapa Hills to rescue what he finds to be the most adequate sticks, slabs and roots for his purposes. After finding the right pieces – a process which can take him months to complete – these will become, in due time and after the necessary time to be cured, stunning organic artworks which can take him years to sculpt.

Uitto, whose tools are hand-made by himself, skilfully combines his materials to create sculptures which are crafted in a way such that they give viewers the illusion they are looking at amazing artefacts produced by Nature itself, as if to prove that “the poetry of the earth is never dead” (John Keats). In fact, Nature is an ally to the artist, since he uses the naturally twisted forms of driftwood to create the extraordinary shapes of his dazzling sculptures, which seem to gain a life of their own and to be ready to take off, be it as birds or animals.

Particularly impressive is his Sea Horse, which seems to be about to set off, galloping along the beach; his majestic eagle soaring up the sky or his magnificent giraffe giving the impression that it is slowly moving across a green flat expanse of land. However, Uitto also creates stunning furniture pieces and architectural works from driftwood, which look like settings from “The Lord of the Rings”.

Jeff Uitto’s artworks actually cause a deep impact on viewers since, owing to the kind of material used, they strongly convey the feeling that Nature has played an important role in their production too. In fact, the driftwood has been touched by the invisible hands of the Elements for years, polished, caressed and tended before the artist even got started with his crafting.

These sculptures born from a creative and remarkable joint venture between Uitto and Nature seem to invite viewers to also participate by means of their touch, by offering them an opportunity to feel, in a personal and strong way, every curve of these breathtaking artworks. This could further nurture on-lookers’ involvement with the art pieces, thereby raising their awareness to the Beauty that surrounds us, and to the fact that, indeed, “in all things of Nature there is something of the marvellous”.

No comments:

Post a Comment