Michael Binkley Female Torso Sculpture in Marble
This is another sculpture (left) that was inspired by another artist’s work – this time by Frank Zeilder.
I was first introduced to painter Frank Ziedler at a group show at the CityScape Arts Space in North Vancouver several years ago. He was showing one of his large pen and ink drawings which captured both my and Michelle’s interest. In October, 2010, Frank and I shared an exhibition in the same gallery, and several of our pieces married very well together, though we had not collaborated on any of the creations beforehand.
One of Frank’s drawings, titled “Sweet Peas” (right) struck and inspired me. Frank created one of his slender female figures in a garden-like setting and she opens her abdomen to reveal several small babies hidden inside her.
I carved a piece of bardiglio marble into a female torso and opened her abdomen to reveal a series of spherical shapes to represent children. The image reminds one of a split open pea pod, so Michelle immediately graced the sculpture with the title “Mrs. Peabody.” It is a whimsical title, but so appropriate that it stuck.
Bardiglio is a variety of marble from Carrara, Italy. Though the area is famous for its many varieties of white marble, it also produces this grey type. This marble’s colour varies, depending on how one treats the finished surface. With this sculpture, I have chosen to leave a fine file finish on the surfaces. The result is a soft, light grey colour that still reveals a few pinstripe black striations, but the surfaces feel like linen to the touch as one runs one’s hand up and down the smooth graceful curves of the female’s form. I have mounted the torso on a circular base of basalt and it can easily turn on the pin.