Beguiling nature-inspired sculptures are formed from industrial strength metals

Michelle McKinney
© Michelle McKinney

When we think of metal sculptures, we typically conjure up images of big, monolithic works that most likely exude a quality of indestructibility. Not so with with these captivating sculptures by British artist Michelle McKinney, which use industrial-strength man-made materials, yet are crafted into almost delicate forms and arranged in dynamic patterns, making them seem like they were plucked straight out of nature.

McKinney‘s compositions consist of meticulously cut and handwoven elements like copper, brass, or steel mesh, fashioned into the form of leaves, birds and seeds. Each component is hand-dyed in natural colours, hiding the material's industrial origin.

Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney

The pieces are then arranged in subtle yet gorgeous compositions: a radial burst of plant-like forms, a scattering of leaves, a murmuration of birds. They are pinned to the wall, suggesting a balance between airy aesthetics and scientific-like study of nature.

Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney

McKinney sees her work as hinting at a “complex network of tensions,” pulling between complexity and simplicity, chaos and order, freedom and boundaries. She explains:

This play between the timeless and the immediate is at the heart of [the] work. However tranquil the order of the instant may seem, it cannot segregate itself from the underlying chaos of nature, and it is into this engagement with chaos that we are lured, so unassumingly, by the captivating simplicity of order.

Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney
Michelle McKinney© Michelle McKinney

There is something extremely alluring about these ephemeral compositions: they seem to suggest the thrilling, grand movements of the wind as it carries precious bits of life on the air, offering homage to the eternal drive for transformation. Yet, they are also frozen in time, capturing something that is altogether fleeting and impossible to seize completely. It's a sublime paradox that ultimately calms the spirit. For more, visit Michelle McKinney.

[Via: My Modern Met]

Tags: Artists | Arts | England

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