Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tas Wansbrough

Tas Wansbrough, recent Ballarat Arts Foundation Alumni winner will soon be exhibiting her work at Red Brick Gallery. I love her sculptures, I'm able to picture any one of them taking pride of place in my garden or even inside my home. I love the contrast between the steel and the wood that she uses and the strength that comes not just from the materials she uses but also the subject matter, shapes and forms that she creates.

Despite my love of Tas's work and having seen her work in other exhibitions before, I have never picked her brain about how she does what she does. What kind of gallery owner am I?... not asking these types of questions :p.  When I look at any work of art I often get lost in the 'how' element. I'm fascinated by the technical side of creating artwork and want to know more especially with work like Tas's.  These big bits of wood... which if I looked at them, would just look like big bits of..... wood!  But she makes something beautiful from that same bit of wood. This makes me go WOW! :)

So I quizzed Tas and begged her to send me photos of the creative process so we can all have a peek into her fascinating world. How cool is it that Tas get's out there with an angle grinder and sometimes a chainsaw and chips away at this wood making these figures, then has the vision to combine that wood with metal as well.  

 So I asked Tas some questions....

Q:  How long do your pieces take?
A: I have no idea how long the pieces take , sometimes I can cut one out completely in a day but then keep working on it for weeks staining sanding finishing etc. But it can be surprisingly fast because of the power tools. 

Q: What type of tools do you use?
A: I use an arbotech tungsten blade on a small angle grinder to carve. 
*If you are like me and don't know what that is... this is it :)

The beginning of one of Tas's Awesome sculptures

Q: What type of wood do you use?
A: I use all types of wood, today I am at Greg’s farm so am carving cypress from a fallen tree. At home I use mainly recycled wood such as pine and Oregon and also a little red gum from sleepers. 

Q: Do you work from skteches or let the wood dictate the form it will carved into
A: I mainly work from sketches as  ideas but often have to go freestyle if the wood has a crack or tricky knott. 

Q: Who influences your work:
A: I love heaps of sculptors like Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Louis Bourgeois, Dora Gordana. I Have been reading too much Italian and greek sculpture stuff lately and am now finding it really hard to think abstract and get too caught up in figurative works

I'm so excited by Tas's work and just want to grab an angle grinder and try carving some thing but I think I'll leave it up to someone with a natural knack and flair for this type of artwork like Tas.

Tas will be exhibiting her work at Red Brick from the 2nd to the 15th of March, 2012.  
The exhibition will official open on Saturday the 3rd of March between 3 and 5pm.  There will be food and drinks provided and you can meet Tas and chat to her about her work. Discuss how she does it or just how awesome it looks :)

Look at Tas go, just carving away, waiting for these awesome forms and figures to show themselves.

Work in progress

Below are two of the finished pieces that will be exhibited at Red Brick from the 2nd to the 15th of March, 2012.