RAYMOND WIGER

SCULPTURE

Wire Mesh - A Medium For Sculpture

 

Unlike the traditional sculpting materials of stone and clay, wire mesh encompasses many dimensions at once. Metal, light and empty space are the three components that together in varying degrees bring new directions to classic figurative sculpture. Of the three, metal, at times, seems to be the least significant. A typical sculpture is but one third wire and two thirds empty space. Shadow play from light at various angles extends the sculpture beyond its physical bounds, casting an image not unlike a charcoal sketch that can take on a form identical to the sculpture itself or become an abstract apparition. Mood, meaning and movement are enhanced, redefined or obliterated altogether by a flick of a switch or the changing angle of the sun's rays. At once animated and elemental, sculpture in wire mesh allows for a continued evolvement and reinterpretation of the work beyond its finished form.

 

Sculpting in wire mesh equally involves the use of the right and left halves of the brain - the creative and the analytical. Destruction best describes the process of working stone - the removal of extraneous material to reach the object embedded within. The molding of clay is a constructive process - a piecing together, building, adjusting of material to achieve the desired form. The manipulation of wire mesh is none of these. To equate sculpting in wire mesh with any other process might be to describe it as an exercise in origami while contemplating a Rubik's Cube. Beginning with a square, rectangular, triangular or other polygonal piece of mesh, the transformation to figure occurs without the use of any tools but the hands – in essence, skin against skin. As important, the integrity of the initial geometric shape is never compromised by the removal of "excess" material. To do so would be to reduce a rather complex process to merely one of just cutting out paper dolls. The final piece must include all the original material intact. With the same properties of cloth, an area of mesh when moved or stressed will affect all other areas of the mesh as well. What is required is a visualization of a two dimensional space to three, and a calculation of manipulations in an order that brings the final form to fruition.