The Edge of Autumn, 2016
• carrara statuario marble & granite
• 29″H x 12″W x 10″D (74cm H x 30cm W x 25cm D)
• private collection, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
I was inspired to create this sculpture from a black and white photograph that I noticed on Pinterest. The photo was of a decaying deciduous tree leaf that was curled and reminded me of a female torso. From a wedge shaped off-cut of Carrara statuario marble that I had kept from my Queen Mary 2 commission, I decided to try to execute my idea.
Statuario (Italian for statuary) marble is one of the most coveted varieties of white marble from Carrara, Italy, as it can be quarried in large pieces of pure white. However, the white is interlaced with veins of grey, so there is extra work involved in both the extraction process and at the block cutting yards to get rid of the grey which is unwanted by most sculptors. I, on the other had, appreciate this feature as I think it adds to the “stoney-ness” of the marble. As it happened, the off-cut was from the QM2 Whelk Shell tip, where there was a lick of grey against the white.
I began work on this sculpture in the summer of 2015, but after a day’s work roughing it out, I set is aside in order to pursue paying commissions. I finally turned to it again in June 2016, and set about to finish it. The result is “The Edge of Autumn.”
The sculpture is meant to be abstract, but there are hints of human anatomy in the composition, alluding to my inspiration. One can also discern shapes like a wing, a musical treble clef, perhaps a cherry fruit. But definitely a twisted female torso – scapula, hips, shapely thighs, and the faint hint of buttocks. The grey veining is separated from the white by a swirl of caramel colour, and was the inspiration for the sculpture’s title. I’ve decided the white represents summer, the caramel represents autumn and the grey is winter. Since my inspiration was a deciduous leaf, the theme of autumn seems appropriate and abstract enough to fit the art work.
I have given the sculpture a smooth, matte finish so the colours of the marble can be appreciated, yet the stone can successfully hold shadow. The silky smooth surfaces are wonderful to the touch and are in contrast to the highly polished granite base. The sculpture is secured to the base by a stainless steel pin, but is free to turn on the base to any viewing angle and can be separated for ease of transport.