Exploratory Unit 01

16’x 12’x 10′
Aluminum, glass, solar lights

My aim in creating Exploratory Unit 01 was to tread the fine line between a visually-engaging, abstract sculpture and a giant-insect-like-thing-from-outer-space. I began fabricating the sculpture with only a vague notion of the final form. I started with one leg–cutting, bending, and welding the aluminum into shapes that seemed interesting, and somewhat leg-like. I kept altering and experimenting until I felt that it worked visually. From that leg, I went on to create more parts, aiming to develop a balanced sense of scale, graceful curves, and a feeling that the sculpture might start moving at any moment. As a personal challenge, I tried to make each leg and arm as different as possible, while maintaining a sense of unity with the other parts. I wanted the overall form to have a somewhat mechanical quality, while also having an animal-like presence. The sculpture ended up being larger than I originally anticipated. By working with an open-ended approach, I created a sculpture with complexities and irregularities that would have been difficult to pre-plan. This was my first use of colored glass and lights in a sculpture. Throughout the process, I had the story “War of the Worlds”, by H.G. Wells, lurking in the back of my mind.