Hard to believe that a gigantic in situ installation made out of thousands of poplar sticks was built from scratch. Yet, that is the work process of Ben Butler. He started to play with the sticks and came up, as he kept going, with the abstract shape of his piece. Exploration is what guided the artist to assemble the rigid squared voids among the organic impulsive sculpture.
He compares it to hiking in the forest and to realize that nature doesn’t adapt to the human scale. There is no limitation. Through this process we, humans, discover forms and need to engage in order to interact and build meaning. The voids created within the sculpture needs to be filled to complete the work. That is the dialogue Ben Butler wants to encourage between the piece and the viewer, let him make his own discoveries and introspections.
“The art shouldn’t be about art, you bring your owns ideas to it”. Ben Butler is not concerned by fhe final result. It doesn’t matter if it has nothing to do with his starting vision, his process of creation never follows the initial impulse. However, he is comforted by repetitive patterns and rigid parameters. He plays with methodology, in one direction and once the threshold has been reached it’s where a new characteristic emerges and enters an abstract zone that has nothing to do with the original components.
Ben Butler’s “Unbounded” installation is now showing at the Rice University Gallery in Houston, Texas until August 2015. When the exhibition is over, the 10,000 sticks will be disassembled and the sculpture will no longer exist as it was set up in the gallery. (via Design Boom)