Barbara Riegel Bend

mixed media fiber, metal
45 x 16 x 24 in.

I aspire to tell a story, capture a moment, or portray an idea drawn from personal experience. My sculptures are predominately archetypal women, characterizing strength, movement and struggle or whimsy. I depend on the uniqueness of the fabrics, shape and repetitive qualities of found objects, and wrapping techniques to facilitate this expression. I am inspired by the ancient and primal power of wrapping, moved by its simplicity. Wrapping is rhythmic and repetitious. I use this primitive technique to encase the welded scrap metal armatures of my pieces to form and shape the bodies of the figures. The language of the materials used to wrap add depth and dimension to this technique. Fabrics interact with each other, not only through color and texture but within the context of the time and place they hold in history and cultural influences.  The integrity and beauty of broken or discarded objects can be easily overlooked; its essence lost. It is an inspirational thrill for me when I can successfully incorporate some used-up forgotten items in my work. I like to give a discarded object a new voice and identity in a piece. I know I have succeeded when a viewer spends time appreciating a completed sculpture and then spontaneously laughs after identifying the misplaced object, enjoying the essence of the discarded.