Two artists select and create with steel scraps. Playing "human vice grips" for each other, they push their work into three dimensions as a team. Both artists' individual work hovers in two dimensions, hinting at the third. Together they have found a way to get to the third and perhaps beyond.
Photographer Bob Hesse and Metal Sculptor Madeleine Lord noted, over the years of exhibiting together in Cambridge Art Association and Winchester Artist Network shows, that their work in proximity created a visual conversation. It was as if the work itself was asking for the collaboration of material and vision.
They launched Scrap Works on Madi's driveway in the Spring of 2011. After a walk through of the pre-art collection in her garage and environs, they took the first of many trips to the Mecca of steel scrap in Readeville MA where they started bringing home a quarter ton of irresistible pieces with unknown destinies. They go on collection safari for heads, glyphs and arms but may return with the legs and chest muscles of a charging horse or the head of a Buddah. It is an unpredictable sport.
They work from the stories inspired by the metal, by the news, by their personal histories. The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant melt down in Japan was in the headlines when they started. Rather than talk about it, Bob and Madi made their first works: Tsunami, and Fallout, finding their response in compositions of metal scraps. They compare the process and results to Jazz and prayer. Sometimes the subject appears spontaneously, then the rest is played out as a succession of visual riffs. Sometimes the piece takes three months or more and never settles. A work may be subject to multiple arm-ectomies and have no head as in "the Romantic". Sometimes the piece makes itself, as with "Next Place" and "Bete de Lascaux". Sometimes a scrap is lifted from one work and subsumed by another.
Preparing a show of small works for display at Pairings, a participant in Winchester Arts in August, Bob and Madi made the Reader, Light Headed, and Odalisque among others. The large works that percolated on the driveway throughout summer and Fall of 2011 include the Ascetic, the Romantic, Flapper and a life size charging horse. More critters, folks, visions may arrive in 2012.
Both Bob and Madi continue to work as individual artists, producing work on their own in their respective media. Bob's solo work may be viewed hereAndMadi's may be viewed here