Supple Patterns Illuminate Bold Volumes in Oliver Chalk’s Sophisticated Wooden Vessels
May 16, 2023
Hewn from solid hunks of found timber, Oliver Chalk’s vessels (previously) embrace the natural grain and gradients of different types of wood to reveal voluminous functional sculptures. Using remnants of fallen trees like ash, cypress, maple, and cherry, Chalk hand-carves bold ribs and lines redolent of contours on topographic maps. He takes cues from the distinctive characteristics of each piece of wood, responding to the specimen’s unique texture, hardness, hue, and innate patterns. Maple burl, for example, which is a growth in the tree’s bark that creates dense, swirling, eye-like motifs, led to an elegant piece peppered with small holes and knots.
Chalk’s work is included in the group exhibition Earth Materials at Gallery 57 in Arundel, West Sussex, through June 10 and Spring Collection ’23 at The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Ockley, Surrey. Find more on his website and on Instagram.
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