“At a certain point, I just put the building and the art impulse together. I decided that building was a legitimate way to make sculpture.”
- Martin Puryear
These sculptural works of late combines discarded or found materials of everyday accord to form meaningful objects. I am interested in making forms that incorporate the detritus of familiar construction materials - both in renovation or new construction. I use plywood and two-by-fours that have been discarded, neglected and somewhat impacted by time and the elements. As I create the work, I strive to infer its previous purpose as a living being. I often contemplate the material’s post-life structure as an industrial product and its transformation into an functional objects like homes, furniture and other utilitarian means. Interests also reveal the formalist qualities of texture and color as they relate to the contexts of each object’s unique shape and its created contrast. Metaphorically, the sculptures evoke our human impact upon the ecology of our planet. I am interested in sustainability, especially wood, for making work that speaks about second, third and even fourth lives of material. Our human history and relationship with trees has been essential in our evolution. My work strives to bring together how human existence depletes, regenerates and strives to sustain the land, water and atmosphere. Additionally, I aim for the work to inference human labor processes involving forestry, industrialization, production and construction. The layering of these plywood shards and fashioning them reflect several complexities we share with and being an integral part of nature.
The second body of work is drawn to the simplicity of line. I have stated, “Line employs direction whether forceful or implied; it's the movement of the path that transcends each sculptural work”. I am interested in the invisible taken for granted material of common insulated and non-insulated aluminum electric cable, wire, plaster, brick and wood. I strive to bring synergy between nature and our human associations with her through these pieces. The line in nature especially within the wooded terrain where my property sits conveys depth of movement. The wire moves in similar ways to long reeds of grass or branches when met with gentle breezes, precipitation or the ephemeral perching of a bird or insect. The lines throughout the sculptures and natural objects transform and invoke personal moments of contemplative semblances. I am exploring the concept of how lines are often symbolic as paths and journeys, where along the way stories are made and experienced by an individual or with the shared company of others. It’s those associations that allow our senses to connect with each other and evoke meaning.
Gregory J. Barry, native to New England, educated in the desert Southwest, has been a resident of a rural community in North Central Massachusetts for over two decades. Home, gardens and studio have been where ecology and art have shaped his love of family, his art practice and his teaching career. Having met his life partner - an Art Educator, avid Gardener and Artist - while taking undergrad Art Ed courses at ASU, the life they built has spawned three creatives - an Art Director, an Animator and a Sculptor. Talking the language of art has always been a staple in this family’s life whether during food prep, holiday gatherings, playtime or casual visits. This was a different experience from Gregory’s own humble childhood and upbringing in a dominantly Italian-Irish household. The youngest of nine children, Gregory’s suburban environment of the 1970's along with his family dynamic of a stay at home mother and engineer father, had been subconsciously fostering and nurturing his kindred spirit to pursue an artistic life. Throughout his adult life, Gregory has worked along side international, regional and local artists; he has collaborated with museums and art leagues; and Gregory has given presentations at regional and national conferences regarding visual arts and education. Additionally, Gregory’s travel experiences have taken him abroad to Western Europe, as well as Mexico and over two-thirds of the continental United States. As a secondary public school art teacher, his career as an educator, artist and human being hopes to inspire young people to explore and develop their own artistic and creative abilities while listening close to the kindred spirit within them.