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Michael Binkley Stone Sculpture Titled “Gesture and Flow”

michael binkley abstract marble sculpture

There are several shapes and forms that pervade in an artist’s mind through their lives and recur in their compositions. There are the elliptical compositions of Raphael, the egg form in Brancusi’s work and the straight black line of Mondrian to name but a few.

Two shapes I continue to pursue are the pear and the elliptical forms. In the sculpture “Gesture and Flow,” I use the ellipse as the outside edge of the composition. This piece is part of a series of elliptical forms that I have sketched that include an opening in the form that reveals a variety of other forms. These are akin to an egg hatching.

This sculpture is an ellipse set on end and a curvilinear opening cuts across the top. The negative space reveals two spheres – one large with a matte finish, the other smaller with a highly polished surface. A smooth, highly polished piece of nephrite jade wraps around the front of the larger sphere and appears to be a leaf, or a piece of seaweed. The insides of the negative opening are crosshatched with a fine toothed rake chisel and the outside surface of the sculpture is a smooth, matte surface.

Matte surfaces allow for stone to hold shadow in a way that highly polished stone cannot, and having shadows in this sculpture was important to me. There is an interested dichotomy of the rough, small shadows cast by the crosshatched areas against those softer, broad shadows of the ellipse and the sphere. But some stones loose their interest unless highly polished, and nephrite jade really only comes alive when it is polished to a high, gleaming sheen. It also pops against the matte white marble. I have set the sculpture on a circular base of charcoal grey Italian granite.

The sculpture is in a private collection in Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada.