Silvia L. Davis

Artist Statement

I’ve been a sculptor all my life. As a child I entertained myself all day by building things, painting and drawing. When I went to art school I realized that I was a sculptor and that sculpture was an extension of the way I played as a child. I live and work in a remote, small town in central Utah. The landscape is a combination of rugged red rock cliff formations and high mountain desert terrain. The beauty and texture of this landscape has inspired me for years and has had a powerful influence on my work.

I’ve been working as a wood sculptor for 35 years and have developed my own way of working this beautiful material. My sculptures of animals involve a process of constant adding and subtracting blocks of wood until a complex, surprising surface is established. While building these blocks of color and pattern, I also work out the proportion and expression of the character. This process of building up and breaking down gives life to the character of the animals and creates an element of transformation.

I also have a love of beautiful complex mechanical objects. I am able to look at an object that appears infinitely complex and reduce it to one simple move at a time. Wood is the material that reveals the inherent beauty previously invisible in the subject.

It took me years to learn how to handle the freedom of water base clay but now I work with it very well and many of my bronzes are cast from it.  Some of my bronzes have been cast directly from my wood sculptures.  Some pieces are cast from a combination of both. For example, the legs of the dogs and the horses have been carved in wood and the bodies have been built in clay. A mold is then made from the prototype and cast in bronze.

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