This abstract sculpture was inspired by a small marble abstract that Michael Binkley carved and he wondered what the smaller version would look like if it was created at a much larger scale.
Binkley had a triangular piece of white marble that he bought while in Pietrasanta, Italy in 2008 and had shipped to his Vancouver studio. This marble comes from the Petacchi quarry in the mountains above the famous Italian marble producing town of Carrara. The size and shape of the stone was perfect for the composition, although this large version is more elongated than the small original sculpture.
“Il Volo” is Italian for “the flight” as the edges and surfaces are full of curvilinear movement that liken to a flying bird or a shifting cloud. This combined with the negative space under the sculpture allude to an uplifting, somewhat weightless feeling and defies the 2,500 pound weight of the stone material.
Although the artwork is abstract, one can see representational images from different perspectives. One side of the sculpture looks like a spinnaker sail full of wind. Another side looks like a flip-flop sandal. Another side looks like a leaping dolphin, jumping over sea waves.
The sculpture surface has a matte finish that is silky smooth to the touch, and it can hold shadow very well. There is a slight grey veining in the white marble background. This particular variety of Carrara marble has a high concentration of magnesium in it, so it can stand up to the elements in an outdoor setting. “Il Volo” is photographed in the sculpture garden of Binkley Sculpture Studios.