Continuing my series of posts on the little town with the big art heart, Pinedale, I chatted with Bronwyn Minton who just installed her public art sculpture “Three Rogues” on the corner of Pine and Freemont Streets in Pinedale. Bronwyn was invited by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council to propose a sculpture for a two-year installation.
She proposed an enlarged version of her ceramic work.
The arts council and the town of Pinedale approved her plans. But the question still remained: what material to use to build 9 feet versions of 10-inch clay sculptures? “We considered metal and fiberglass,” Bronwyn said. The more she thought about it, however, the more sense it made to use wood. “Wood is more in keeping with my other work. You can have a lot of meaning and references within a piece of work.”
Bronwyn’s husband Mike located three beetle-kill logs from Hamilton, Montana, which were delivered to her garage, displacing her family’s cars. She spent several months carving the logs with hand tools.
”We understand that they are logs, but the colors make them become characters, mischievous scamps.”
Once shaped, the logs were ready to be stained. “I wanted to use basic colors that would accentuate those shapes,” Bronwyn said. She chose red and black wood dyes followed by oil. “The black ends up looking burned,” she noted, which is an interesting riff on her fired ceramic pieces.
“On the red one, you can see the grain and the ring of grey outer wood that happens with beetle kill trees. The red makes a stark contrast between the three, so viewers really think about sizes and shapes.” The base the pieces sit on is 5.5 square feet, and the tallest piece is 9.5 feet tall.
”You can be in and among them, and as you move around them they change the way they look. There is visual movement.”
”I think about them as wood spirits, or scoundrel tricksters. They are three characters having conservation.”