M.L. SNOWDEN SCULPTURE
FOUNDATIONS OF SYNERGY
Gravity, Seismic Ray and Stasis are sculptures that aesthetically come together to advance a new plateau for the art of bronze. In these three dimensional configurations which explore the FOUNDATIONS OF SYNERGY, Snowden establishes her own vocabulary in describing energy pattern phenomena and laws of physics that permeate the universe. Through a singular focus on the possibilities of gravity-pour lost wax bronze, the sculptor has been able to transform abstract contemporary science into an art of lustrous physical vitality and spiritual connection.
Gravity, as a sculptural meditation, expresses M.L. Snowden’s central idea that the very substance of humankind, stars, planetary masses and bronze are created of the same interrelated yet differently arranged elements. Just as humankind is the expression of the physical universe, so is bronze metallurgy a celebration of these same integrated forces; indeed, for Snowden, the working processes that heat the bronze foundry are mirrored in titanic geological phenomena happening deep within the earth’s core.
Using no models or references to express form, Snowden has invented a composition that invites us to contemplate Gravity in multiple ways. In the sculptor’s visual language, the lower figure can be thought to embody Gravity. In its free fall suspension, the lower tier creates the illusion that it is exerting the full force of its downward weight upon the bronze structure. The upper figure opposes being brought down by Gravity in an affirmative action that seems to strive toward the light. Indeed, this upper portrait is riveted on the heavens. Touring the sculpture, the lower figure exerts a downward force while the upper lifts skyward on limbs that clutch and depend upon the lower tier. Within the braced hands lies a nexus of condensed power. Here, Gravity and its effect is described as a synergistic union of elements. The sculpture suggests a balanced scale. In looking over these compositional oppositions, it is possible to see the program and intention of the sculpture reaching out. Here are written anabolic and catabolic forces at work through all the universe and creation; in this bronze, yin and yang, life and death; the central striving of humankind are intimated. The composition describes a state of being beyond a struggle: it is an eternal portrait of humankind’s will toward ascendency against all odds to the point where both figures within the composition rise in an almost unsupported elevation. In Gravity, we may indeed see something of our own will to succeed and endure. Here within the bronze is an expression of sustained achievement. Within this meditation, one human is defined by the presence of another. Within the portrait of the balanced scale, Gravity is necessary to the formation and sustenance of humankind. Witnessing Gravity arise in clay and bronze is to ultimately explore something of the gravid erosive power that defines Snowden’s signature method of sculpture; an indefinable yet recognizable hand that weighs upon the natural folds and fall of materials under manual, annealing pressurization. Ultimately, the bronze freed from its clay armature support is a portrait of the spiritual root of sculpture shaped by hands that reach from one generation to another.
Gravity is based upon a mathematical calculation that allows the entire bronze structure to almost float, ultimately almost defying Gravity. The total weight mass is mortised on the smallest cap of extrusion that is possible to support the structure in connecting the bronze to its base. Snowden’s Gravity is defined by myriad negative spaces within ever changing alignments that in certain lights, cast shadows on walls, speaking of the mystery of forces that while seemingly immaterial, wield powerful influences on the world.
From important roots in the Paris studios of Auguste Rodin and Antonin Mercié, Snowden brings to Gravity the glowing luminous platinum Fournier Patina and the touch of the historic Rodin tools that were used to shape the dynamic planes of the sculpture.