Michael Binkley was inspired to carve this sculpture after seeing several black and white photographs of what at first glance appeared to be sun and heavy shadow on sand dunes. But upon a closer inspection, the dunes were actually nude female models laying in different attitudes next to each other. An interesting optical illusion. Binkley wondered how the image would look executed in white marble.
“Landscape in Five” is an original marble sculpture that Binkley began carving while renting studio space at Studio SEM in Pietrasanta, Italy in 2008. He did the rough out carving there and then completed the sculpture in his Vancouver studio. This sculpture is carved from white marble from the Petacchi quarry, high in the mountains behind the famous town of Carrara, Italy.
Binkley arranged five female nude torsos beside each other, alternating prone and supine. When viewed at a low angle, the forms of each female body do emulate a landscape of sand dunes. The female figures are carved in a high relief style with the breasts, buttocks, hips and thighs fitting tightly together. The sculptor carved the underside of the sculpture with long, undulating curves and hollows. These look like flower petals or a giant clam shell. The underside meets the female nudes as an undulating line that gently carries the viewer’s eye around the sculpture. It is mounted on a single steel pin that holds the sculpture above a square black granite base and can be rotated to any viewing angle.
Binkley sanded the sculpture to a silky smooth matte finish so that it can capture and hold shadow most effectively. The female nudes are also wonderful to touch with this surface treatment.
This sculpture is sold and in the collection of a patron in West Vancouver, BC, Canada.