Miles Barnett

Maryland Institute College of Art

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The sculptural body of work I have here illustrates my interest and use of materials. Wood and metal are the primary materials in my work. Over the past year or so, I have been focusing on angles, corners and rectilinear forms in my work, while the process/technique of making vary.
Some sculptures are welded, others are forged, and some are assembled or joined. I challenge myself to connect the parts of each work in unexpected ways - for example in the rectilinear piece with the floating top - I joined all the work with no nails, creating illusions of floating parts and questions of how parts are connected. I did something similar in the chainmail square within a square. The handmade chainmail wire square seems to float inside the constructed square. The two wire, wood and tube sculptures have repeating rectilinear lines of wire mirroring the laminated wood structures that anchor and connect them. The contrast of the dark anodized wire, the bicycle tube strips, and the laminated wood pieces (of various types of wood) engages the viewer with different textures and overlapping forms/lines. Again, the construction is simple to focus on the forms and not the construction. The largest of the works is the rusted orb inside a square. The forged and welded construction has been weathered/rusted to provide a texture and color that was not present in the metal to start with.
As a visual artist, I see the world in terms of visual elements, primarily texture, surface, and materials. The work I make is very tactile. I am interested in manipulating materials, exploring what materials/media can do. I like to push the boundaries of materials. I experiment in my work, which means many things do not work out exactly the way I first imagine, but I use the mistakes as information for the next piece, incorporating them. The process of art making drives me, while I focus on the outcome in the work.
I gravitate to sculpture and textural two-dimensional work, because of the plasticity - the act of manipulating the materials. The interest in surface and material runs through my work. I work out ideas by planning the work in my head and two dimensionally in my sketchbook, then I take materials and begin forming the ideas in the round, experimenting with the way the materials relate to one another and react to the manipulation.