I’ve long been preoccupied with melding drawing and sculpture— employing various strategies to make linear shapes in physical space. Most often, scavenged tree branches or twigs provide an initial gesture, but it’s the addition of rope, cord or other material that readily allows me to play with gravity while highlighting air or negative space.  Moreover, by combining ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, ‘natural’ and ‘manmade’, ‘geometric’ and ‘organic’, I’m able to consider the inherent tension found in contrasting states while mediating between them.

C.D.sm (hook), detail

C.D.sm (hook), 2019, twigs, cord, 12 x 11 x 5.5 inches

C.D.6 (triangle), 2020, cord, branches, paint, 80 x 29 x 7 inches

These recent larger works are suspended from the ceiling by monofilament. In person, that thin thread is visible; and yet, with certain pieces that interact with the floor, there remains a contradictory sense that the forms are 'standing' or rising up, rather than hanging down.  Such whims of perception intrigue me.

C.D.6 (triangle), details above

C.D.9 (monster), detail

C.D.9 (monster), 2020, rope, tree branches, thread, paint, 81 x 40 x 16 inches

C.D.5 (heart), 2020, cord, tree branches, thread, acrylic paint, 74 x 36 x 8 inches

C.D.sm (arc), 2019, twig, cord, paint, 12 x 11 x 4.5 inches

C.D.3 (stack), detail

C.D.7 (sisters), detail

C.D.2 (pair), 2019, cord, branches, paint, fabric, thread, 79 x 32 x 20 inches

C.D.1 (cauldron), detail

C.D.5 (heart), detail 

C.T.#17, 2001, salvaged Christmas tree, Flashe paint, string, 13 x 9 x 10 inches

C.D.3 (stack), 2019, cord, branches, paint, thread, 75 x 38 x 36 inches

C.D.7 (sisters), 2020, reeds, cord, acrylic paint, 38 x 28 x 8 inches

C.D.2 (pair), detail

C.D.1 (cauldron), 2019
, cord, willow branches, paint, 74.5 x 15 x 15 inches

C.D.10 (banner), 2020, twigs, cord, thread, 36 x 60 x 4 inches    

While developing ideas for a project in France, I turned to plastic tubing as a building material. Though I generally resist purchasing plastics, this would allow me to travel with just the tubing, scavenging indigenous tree branches on site.  And with this method of working, parts could be recombined in various permutations which fostered a certain fluidity and spontaneity.  

 

But beyond plastic or wood, seeing CP 05 disassembled (below), it's abundantly clear that my primary 'material' is air itself.

C.D.10 (banner) version II, 2020, 45 x 24 x 20 inches

C.D.10 (banner), detail

CP 05, 2018, scavenged tree branches, plastic tubing, 77 x 84 x 84 inches

All of the pieces used for CP 05

CP 04, 2018, scavenged tree branches, plastic tubing, 90 x 45 x 29 inches

CP 01, 2018, scavenged tree branches, plastic tubing, 70 x 50 x 32 inches

CP 02, 2018, scavenged tree branches, plastic tubing, 67 x 36 x 28 inches

CP 03, 2018, scavenged tree branches, plastic tubing, 72 x 63 x 26 inches

out of line, 2010, a solo exhibition at Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY included seven three-dimensional drawings;                        they were prompted by the steel-plated floor and other features of the space, as well as the unique urban gardens of the local Red Hook community.

 

(center, back wall) In Mind, 2010, salvaged Christmas trees, tape, ink, 60 x 93 x 13 inches

98 Degrees, 2010, scavenged tree branch, pink cord, clay dust, 62 x 52 x 5 inches

98 Degrees, detail

Aerial Fuse, 2010, tree branch, green rope, salvaged Christmas tree, paint, existing green steel-plated floor, 144 x 115 x 55 inches

Never Mind, 2010,

vine, twigs, plastic bag, mesh, wall board, 103 x 52 x 25 inches

From Here to There, 2010, tree branches, steel wire, salvaged chair parts, paint, 144 x 21 x 20 inches

Florence's Mulberry Tree Speaks French, 2010, scavenged mattress springs (and cast shadow), graphite with mulberry leaves as stencils, bed fragment, 59 x 56 x 79 inches

Poof, 2006, salvaged Christmas tree, plastic tubing, acrylic paint, 62 x 90 x 7 inches

Installed here in Cabin Fever, 2011, a group exhibition at Mixed Greens, NYC

photo: Etienne Frossard

Conduit, 2007, 8.5 x 10 x 5.5 feet

Installed in Projects 07, The Carriage House at Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY.

A ‘walk-in’ drawing composed of vines scavenged from the surrounding woods and hardware added to the room’s existing electrical system. Gels over the fluorescent lights bathed the room (and viewers) in a green glow.

 © 2020 Ilene Sunshine