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  • created 2009
  • red travertine & granite
  • 42”H x 12”W x 12”D (107cmH x 30cmW x 30cmD)
  • private collection, Whistler, BC, Canada

Michael Binkley carved this original abstract stone sculpture from a variety of travertine that was quarried near Pisa, Italy. Binkley orientated the composition of the sculpture to flow with the striations of the travertine.

The abstract form resembles a female torso and one can imagine a breast and a raised shoulder in the shapes at the sculpture’s top. Binkley purposefully used an undulating edge that describes the uppermost, shoulder-like circular form, follows down and around the lower, breast-like form and continues downward to the hip. In profile, the viewer’s eye is carried down to the bottom of the sculpture and is retuned up again to the top.

The artist did not want to create a complex composition with this stone, as the colours and patterns of the travertine are what grab the viewer’s attention first. Binkley honours this aspect and allows his sculpted form to be secondary. Travertine is a sedimentary stone and mineral carrying water filtered through the rock eons ago when it was being formed in the earth. This resulted in the thousands of tiny cavities in the stone and the multi-hued striations of reds. Each cavity has tiny quartz crystals on the walls that can be seen at very close range.

Binkley made the surface of the sculpture a smooth matte finish to allow the colours of the stone to be highlighted, yet still be able to successfully hold shadow. The figure reclines on a charcoal grey highly polished granite base.

The sculpture’s title was inspired by the earthy colours of the travertine and the rising shoulder-like form.