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Ben Strear

My process and materials are simple: I sculpt and carve wood. While wood by itself is very beautiful, it’s transformative qualities are what I enjoy the most. I utilize both shallow relief and chip carving to achieve the woven, repetitive patterns that adorn my work. I rely on monochromatic color schemes to highlight the patterning, rather than the color of the material itself. On some of my work, I further graphic depth by incising or burning a secondary pattern over a sculpture’s topographic surface. While the foundation for my art is largely technically driven, I tend to look towards antiquities and fossils for added inspiration. I search for objects that possess finite detail expertly transposed over beautiful forms, either through natural means or by human hands. When pattern and form are combined in the right way, I end up with sculptures that have an air of mystery and impossibility. I wish to instill my work with an inherent sense of history, challenging the viewer to determine if my work was made as a ceremonial gift for an ancient ruler, or perhaps petri_ed fruits yielded by an ancient, primordial garden.

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