Artistic blacksmith Rachel David brings steel sculpture to Poydras Street
NOLA.com – September 02, 2015
Hand forged steels (mild, a588, and 8600 series mack truck axle), zinc, patinas, oil, lacquer.
Thanks to Cembell industries.
“Weft” the yarn that threads through the weaving.
This sculpture represents the balance between community responsibilities and individuals’ contributions. All caught in a weaving metaphor and depicted by abstracted bodies. The velvety rusty steel represent sinuous torsos offset to support the springy resilience of a working body’s arms and shoulders. These arms hold individuals, disparate in their orientations but woven together. A community that is firmly rooted supports those who succeed as well as those who are trying. The tension in this sculpture represents how community has been perverted by capitalism, corruption and greed resulting in institutionalized racism and sexism leading to devastating poverty and displacement.
Through my art I seek to represent the depths of human despair as well as the magical manic intensity of joy and love. As an artist, I use blacksmithing techniques to express emotions and intentions in iron and steel, materials naturally found in the center of the earth, our blood and outer space. The simple forging processes are the building blocks of my visual vocabulary allowing me to manipulate space, line, mass, and void to create the shapes that convey my reactions to life events. I heat the material to stretch it, to split and rejoin it, to put a hole in it or to make it more massive. Each of these highly symbolic processes build the vocabulary of forms that layer together to tell stories. By manipulating steel I create forms that express fear, protectiveness, sensuality, violence, support and communication. I use repetition and pattern to drive compositions to create a sense of movement and urgency or contemplative reflection.
The weave of “weft” represents the rhythm of breath: the sharp snorts of deep weeping and the sighs calmed by love. This sculpture presents a platform for thought.