Artist Meetup: Chisel and Forge

Last Friday the North Carolina Gallery was abuzz with excitement as visitors and the NCMA’s Artists Link Team (ALT) gathered for a meetup at the opening of Chisel and Forge: Works by Peter Oakley and Elizabeth Brim. Hosted by ALT, the event offered a chance to hear from Peter, who came all the way from Boone, and Elizabeth, from Penland, about what inspired them to create the works on view. 

“Trying to Catch the Wedding Bouquet”

When I asked Elizabeth Brim where her subject matter comes from, she didn’t hesitate: “I feel like I’m trying to make my world the way I want it to be… with high-heeled shoes! I’ve made little tuffets before, and upholstered things. So that’s part of it … My grandmother and my mother both, when I was growing up, would make frilly dresses for me and my sister… They are also my inspiration.”

Elizabeth Brim, Catch!, 2005, forged and fabricated steel, H. 36 x W. 24 x D. 8 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2005 Elizabeth Brim

Because the Museum has just acquired her forged-steel sculpture Catch!, I asked her to talk about the piece and what the title means to her:

Finding a Human Element in Ordinary Objects

Peter G. Oakley, Stack 2, 2013, black marble with white marble base, H. 4 ½ x W. 3 x D. 6 in., Collection of Allen G. Thomas Jr., © 2013 Peter Glenn Oakley

Peter G. Oakley is interested in portraying objects that are familiar but whose shapes go unappreciated, whose “formal loveliness,” as he has put it, “has lain hidden somehow.” He carves his works by hand, with a chisel and not with with a CNC machine, as he pointed out Friday night. He likes to work in marble in part because of its connection to ancient Greek sculpture, to the ancient Greeks’ interest in the ideal human form. Here he talks about the subtle contrapposto one can see in his sculpture Stack 2:

The Artists Link Team–Museum professionals dedicated to fostering connections, relationships, and partnerships with N.C. arts communities–would like to thank the artists and all the visitors who turned out for the Chisel and Forge opening. Stay in touch with ALT-sponsored events and local art news by following us on Twitter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top