Monday, May 25, 2015

Deborah Butterfield Exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens May 2015

So Ali and I met up with Amber at the Denver Botanic Gardens and I decided to leave my heavy camera at home and see what I could get with just my new phone's camera.

I hadn't read about the Nature of Horses installation which is this summer's exhibit, so when we saw the first piece at the front, Ali and I both thought, "Oh, cool. They're made from tree limbs."

from this angle, I assumed it was a horse, bending down to eat hay.

Then we walked inside and caught the film. 

Not wood.

It was incredible to see.

Deborah Butterfield starts with found wood and pieces together her horse sculptures, but then numbers every piece, photographs them, pulls them apart, and the wood is turned to ash in the molding process where they are individually cast into bronze. And THEN, she reassembles them,  and paints and patinas each piece back into looking exactly like wood. They're never infested by bugs or worn down by time and weather this way. 

So when we emerged to look at these guys again, I realized that wasn't hay. It was another horse.

In the arrangement of the exhibition, her oldest piece, Aluhani (1991) was paired with the newest, Charlo (2015).

Throughout the gardens, other horses adorn the space.

She keeps a ranch near Bozeman Montana as well as a studio on the Big Island of Hawaii.
She only works in the winter.

As we are gazing and talking about the incredible paint job on bronze, some folks say to us, "That's not wood?" After we explained the process, they headed directly to the film room to see for themselves. It really should be required viewing prior to the exhibition.

Luna is the only piece at the Gardens that is made from found steel.

oh, yeah, and there were plenty of flowers in bloom, too. . .









this was completely unplanned, but photo worthy

And, holding with tradition . . .


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