MAPPING STRATA SERIES

Lynda K. Rockwood’s subtle sculptures connect to structures of time and space, science and randomness, the known and the unknown.  The works in her recent series entitled Mapping Strata investigate these concepts.

Stratascape I
flows through two-dimensional space as an asymmetrical landscape supporting a cast bronze vessel and trilobite.  The real scale of the trilobite anchors the work.  The rough edges of the vessel, created by manipulating the mold, suggest an artifact just taken from the earth.  Inside the vessel is another bronze trilobite, a wonderful contradiction, since the trilobite flourished millions of years before bronze casting began.  Bronze plate, fabricated on a horizontal plane, comprises the larger shape of Stratascape I.  Diagonal cuttings invoke strata.  The undulating lower edge and the roughly cut upper edge imply yet other dimensions.  The rigorous application of layers of patina relies on known and accidental reactions; chemistry to suggest dense sedimentation.

In Ancient Transformation, three stele like forms reveal gores (the elliptical forms used to construct a globe) that emerge from an earth-colored surface.  On the right, the etched gore encompasses several negative shapes, the shapes of seas threatened with extinction.  In the center gore, diagonal cuts define strata in space, while the left gore projects and turns at right angles, thus connecting to our concept of the round earth.

In the four Strataspades, a trowel-like shape supports a glass vessel formed of under fired frit glass creating a texture that suggests granulated snow.  But this “iced” glass glows with color:  chartreuse, light amber, sienna, spring green, olive green, aquamarine, and turquoise.  They mingle, but do not fuse, leaving layers of deposit.

Inspired by her life-long interest in geology and paleontology, Rockwood utilizes ancient and contemporary materials and techniques to create sculptures that explore her concern for the environment and point to the mysteries of the earth itself.

Susan Platt

Essay.  Mapping Strata Series exhibition, September 2007