For my first artist interview, I chose artist/sculptor Barbara Sorensen. I have known Barb for over 15 years and have watched her grow and thrive and create. She amazes me with her vision and insight and I just plain love her and her work. She interprets landscape into tactile, monumental, sculptural installations that have life and ask to be touched. Barbara has now turned her energies into “environmental vessels” made of metal and resin. She shows her work in NY, FL and Aspen, as well as numerous museums across the country. Go to www.barbarasorensen.com to see all of her work and accomplishments. You can also view several video's on YOU TUBE. ie Barbara Sorensen Topographies, Barbara Sorensen Foothills, Barbara Sorensen at Leepa Rattner.
What is your latest focus? My most recent focus is three fold. First, I am developing a new piece for my exhibition at Orlando Museum of Art which opens next year. I am thinking of some kind of multi media installation piece. I am currently working with the Flying Horse Press at the University of Central Florida, making several editions which relate to my sculpture work. And third, my new "Dwelling" series seems to be fascinating me, for I like the ability to make large scale forms which become playful, justaposed to each other.
Because I am a texture fanatic, explain your clay/ bronze pieces in terms of texture. The texture in my work often mimics the direction and movement of the form. In my "Goddess" series, the lines suggest the undulating body of the figure and the draping of a garment. I also add stones, which I collect while hiking in the river beds of the streams in Colorado. When they are subjected to the heat of the kiln, they bubble and burst and create a bumpy rich texture. The clay, stones, slips and glazes I use in these works are from the earth, and replicate the earth, the landscape and the environment, with their overlapping plates and suggestion of metamorphosis.
How do you balance museum/gallery work to studio work, oh and the personal? It is quite simple. I work 5 days a week, eight hours a day. Often I will create for a straight 3 month period and finish a series, then take some time off out of the studio. Timelines and staying flexible helps too! And my family doesn't mind eating popcorn for dinner!
What do you do in Aspen for inspiration? Most of my ideas are generated in the Aspen/mountain environments. Skiing allows me to embrace the landscape by viewing it from afar, while hiking allows me to see the microcosm of nature. Snow Canyon near St George, Utah and the desert in the Santa Catalinas near Tuscon have recently been extremely influential in my newest series.
What do you do in Aspen or elsewhere recharge your batteries? Recharge--Humm.......enjoy my family and friends, hike, ski and travel. But I think when are an artist, you are constantly seeing?
What is your décor style? I love classic modern, the clean lines, the uncluttered surfaces, which gives me the ability to enjoy the textures and forms of the design.
What is your favorite way to entertain? I love having a small group of interesting people for dinner--I have the most fun setting the table, making the centerpiece, and keep the cooking simple.
Do you have a favorite way to style your table? Yes. Texture, texture, texture. Starting with a octagonal flat, but textured, placemat, next a rattan round placemat, next a gold charger, then an elegant dinner plates of a juicy celadon glaze with little decoration, then a lusciously folded napkin propped up on top of the plate with a napkin ring. I have some modern cut glass stemware and usually include a piece of art work for the centerpiece with maybe one flower next to it. What fun!