Charmaine Spencer @ Sculpture Center
FRIDAY, MAY 2 5:30 TO 8:30 PM OPENING IN THE EUCLID AVENUE GALLERY 6:30 PM ARTISTS TALK WITH CHARMAINE SPENCER AND BRUCE EDWARDS, SCULPTOR AND EDUCATOR
Spencer’s artwork is green in the making and greener in the message. Using cast offs and reconstituted items she describes as readily accessible, easily processed materials that have been made available by consumer-discarders, Spencer creates bold sculptural works with a subtle social message concerning shelter. She disassembles, reforms, and transforms rough cut oak lath, hemp rope, wood strips, synthetic hair, electrical conduit, and recycled paper pulp into large individual pieces that are to be viewed together as an accumulative installation.
Spencer exploits the inherent qualities of the different materials to make contrasting abstract sculptures with strong outlines and interior patterns. Rough cut oak lathing tied with huge rope knots rhythmically bends and contorts to frame an outdoor entryway. Wood strips selectively stained with concrete dyes make sharp rectilinear thrusts into space from densely built up interior forms that suggest walls and rooms. Bristling with rusted steel spikes, free standing organic shapes, cast from recycled paper pulp similar to sun hardened gray mud, curl upon themselves into cave-like structures.
As social critiques, Spencer’s installations recall the successful use of limited resources in traditional African communities and propose that the critical housing needs in this country could be met with the recycling of the material abundance found in our neighborhoods.