Private Residence, Columbia, MO
Oliver Clark creates sculptures out of an assortment of over ten wood species, carved and interwoven with handmade strings and steam-bent wood curves. His sculpture practice was inspired by seeing the wooden ornamentation of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City carved by his great-grandfather, James Clark.The compositional sculptures symbolize notions of classical mythology and Biblical allegories significant to contemporary thinking.
Each sculpture encapsulates the beauty found in the diversity between perfection and imperfection. Clark’s distinctive style challenges woodworking tradition of machining wood into modular components by guiding the wood into shape within a liberal tolerance and allowing the piece to retain the tree’s vitality.The sculptures are environmentally aware by making the strings out of hemp fiber and using inlay to save flawed wood unfit for functional woodworking.
Clark’s sculpture resonates with a variety of art historical references. Connections can be made to the rays, angles and arcs of the compositions of Kandinsky, the wabi sabi praise of natural imperfection of Nakashima’s woodworks, to the rising energy of Brancusi’s Bird in Space. The curvilinear wood transforms into organic flourishes to celebrate the joy of being able to bend and shape wood under the sculptor's hand.
2019 Width: 7ft 10in Height: 2ft 9in Depth: 9in