MINING THE ELLIPSE SERIES

Lynda K. Rockwood’s first solo exhibition at the Francine Seders Gallery is an extension of the artist’s ongoing work with the ellipse form.  For the pieces in this sculptural series, Rockwood gives a new voice to her refined and technically immaculate sculptures by incorporating trilobites, ammonites and sea urchins.  She is also taking negative casts of the fossils to create new bronze works.

The artist visited the Burgess Shale Quarry and other regions of the Canadian Rockies to explore fossil themes.  Rockwood hopes that her work will motivate people to be aware of their intimate relation to earth as well as the fossils’ vulnerability to extinction:  of an original 10,000 species of cephalopods, only 600 exist today.

In pieces like Trilobite Vessel, Rockwood builds forms from cast hydrostone and sheet lead.  The surfaces, covered by sheet lead, are as smooth and sensuous as skin.  The lead also references atomic or radioactive energy.  Marine fossils and strata formations are set into recessed areas of the lead surface.

In addition to the fossil works, Rockwood uses her signature ellipse motif in pieces that employ lotus leaf imagery, drawing upon its symbolic history and beauty.  The exhibit includes a series of Leaf Drawings on mylar, as well as Trace Drawings in hydrostone.  The dynamics between materials and forms give these works strength.  Natural materials and clean forms combine in sculptures that are elegant and peaceful.

Allyn Cantor

Review.  Mining the Ellipse Series, Preview, April/May 2004