Composed – Long Billed Curlew – Ken Newman
Composed, #8/22, Bronze on walnut. 19H x 22W x 11L
Composed – Through observation and research of the curlew for another sculpture, I came to better appreciate and understand the sculptural qualities of the bird, but as usual mor needed to be expressed. The value of a completed sculpture lies in what doors it opens for future works.
Composed is a direct response to Observing Grace (a sculpture based on the observation that fully exposed the elegant anatomy of a curlew). One of the major driving forces in my process is a push to express myself by broadening my influences. Composed is an example of these elements coming together.
An intimate view of a curlew became the vision. To create a posture using abstract forms of triangles and planes to balance and move the eye while confining the bird to the smallest footprint possible, yet exposing its large wings, long decurved bill and legs. The posture is possible, but not one I observed in the field. This design allowed me to push and pull the anatomy and plumage in wonderful articulations that work in unison to pull the eye in closer and closer – intimacy with the curlew. For all these elements of composition and vision to come together, the creative eye artistically “Composed” the Long Billed Curlew.
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Born and raised in Ft Bragg California, Ken Newman began sculpting in the late 1970’s when he petitioned an independent study in wood sculpture to fulfill a Humanities requirement in college. Now living in Idaho and traveling the country over 20 years, his sculpture genres include wildlife, animal and the figure, in both raw forms of wood and in clay for casting in bronze using the loss wax process.
Working clay by hand and with tools then creating a mold and casting a bronze involves technique, craftsmanship and design combined with thought, beauty and emotion. I strive to create unique sculptures in small editions of 11 or 22. Patinas are applied with heat and acids creating unique colors imbedded into the bronze. Bases vary, creating many unique narratives. Inspired by my travels and varied experiences, my sculptures reflect personal and societal interpretations of nature and man’s interaction within the environment. As man becomes distanced from the natural world, I hope to capture a unique view of nature, where personal discovery becomes a focal point. My sculptural ideas are based on a foundation of abstract designs, complex compositions and narratives. The challenge to create unique and meaningful bronze sculptures is what drives me on my path in life as a sculptor.
Ken states that “my sculptures question and interpret the relationships of man and nature and how each influences the other. My art is a statement of my journey of life, an effort to understand the world. As we become distanced from the natural world, I try to capture a unique view of nature where discovery becomes a focal point. Creating art that impacts the viewer’s thoughts and perceptions of nature is my goal.”
Sculpting in new mediums and subjects including the figure, gives Ken another opportunity to share a vision or story with those who love art. Ken recently completed the installation of The Last Whistle at the Saginaw Art Museum in Michigan, immortalizing generations of skilled labor in America and in October 2020 another 2 monumental figures will be installed.
Ken Newman is an Elected Member of the National Sculpture Society, Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, an Elected member of the Allied Artists of America. His sculptures reside in museums and private collections across North America and Canada.
- 107th Allied Artists of America, NYC - Rainier Casting Award (2020)
- Purchase Awards at Birds in Art, Wausau WI, Composed and Mischief and Plunder
- 86th National Sculpture Society, NYC - Award Winner (2019)
- Sculpture Walk Sioux Falls SD- Award Winner (2019)