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Pierce Healy: Memory Maps & Tom Hill: Still Life

Exhibition  /  02 Nov 2010  -  30 Nov 2010
Published: 05.11.2010
Pierce Healy: Memory Maps & Tom Hill: Still Life.
Velvet da Vinci
Management:
Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 1, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 15 x 10.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 1, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
15 x 10.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco presents: PIERCE HEALY: Memory Maps and Still Life (with Birds and Insects), an installation by TOM HILL.

Artist list

Pierce Healy, Tom Hill
A skilled engraver and draftsman, Dubliner Pierce Healy carves dramatically detailed and imaginative stories into metal. He allows the engraving on each of his one-of-a-kind pieces to take over the metal's surface as if it were a canvas. A narrative develops during the slow engraving process. Each unique piece includes an intaglio printed image from the corresponding engraving. Originally from London, San Francisco artist Tom Hill works in wood, wire, and paper to create an environment within the gallery. Inspired by children's book illustrations, Still Life is a world in which larger-than-life insects crawl along metal vines and birds perch on paper plants that creep along the gallery floor. 


PIERCE HEALY: Memory Maps
Each elaborate illustration in Memory Maps is a story that usually starts with a sketch of an eye. From this starting point, images explode with information and symbols emerge out of the descriptive detail, covering large-scale surfaces that accommodate up to six square inches of intricate engraving. Cityscapes, ships, plants, toys, and animals surround the characters that literally support the stories; the images and symbols explode out of the head of the character on each piece. Characters in these stories resemble hobos and clowns; they wear bandages and patched boxing gloves and hold empty cups. Within these meticulous illustrations of chaos are stories that can be interpreted as both humorous and melancholy.

Engraving is a traditional, labor-intensive process in which metal is carved by hand using an assortment of hardened steel tools, called gravers. Each graver has a sharp steel tip, which is pushed along the surface of the metal to carve away material. Although hand engraving was an ancient art form widely used in the European Middle Ages, today it is rapidly being replaced by milling machines and advanced technologies. As his field modernizes and skill is replaced by machine, Pierce Healy remains true to tradition and continues to engrave by hand.

A recent graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Pierce Healy has been studying jewelry design for fifteen years, most recently at Konstfack in Stockholm with Ruudt Peters. In 2010 he received the Future Maker Networking Grant from the Crafts Council of Ireland.

Pierce Healy Artist's Statement
The starting point for this work is my fascination with the inherent chaos and calm of the tides; both literally and metaphorically as in the tidal grind of city life. After exploring and documenting the tides and their extended effects I distilled my research into a graphic vocabulary of images and textures.

This evolving narrative manifested itself in the form of hand engraved picture diaries and memory map brooches. The slow and deliberate process of hand engraving lends another dimension to the work. As there are no shortcuts while engraving, time is spent slowly watching a story come to life.

When worn close to the body these stories take on a life of their own and travel out into the world engaging with a widely diverse audience.

With this work I hope to invite the viewer to escape into another world for a moment in time. 


TOM HILL: Still Life (with Birds and Insects)
Still Life began with a drawing. Tom Hills work is often inspired by two-dimensional drawings, which he brings into a third dimension with wire, carved wood, gold and silver leaf, and paper. Childrens book illustrations were what inspired the creatures in this elaborate installation, which is comprised of multiple smaller works to create an environment that invades and thrives along the gallery floors and walls.

Tom Hill graduated from Middlesex University, London in 1994 where he was trained as a jeweler. He currently lives and works in San Francisco. Hill has exhibited at SOFA and participated in COLLECT at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and has had a one-person show at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Tom has been shown by Bluecoat Gallery at both COLLECT in London, and SOFA, Chicago and is represented in the collections of the Geffrye Museum, London, the Wakefield City Museum, U.K., Arthur Andersen PLC and Contemporary Arts Society, Scotland.

Tom Hill Artist's Statement
Installation art suggests something to me which is in many ways the opposite of my own practice as an artist-craftsman. The words bring to my mind images of chilly white rooms with forbidding collections of found objects recreated into confrontational and unemotional pieces, requiring text and/or context in order that the viewer can understand the complexities and layers of meaning contained within the piece: a complex intellectual statement that is about effect rather than affect, the brain not the heart.

I wanted to create a piece that would above all create atmosphere. To bring together a series of craft objects (or perhaps, more appropriately, "crafted objects") which have an emotional reaction in the viewer, where the visual impact of the wthole is greater than the sum of the parts. I want to make the viewer feel as if he has been transported away from the streets of San Francisco and into the pages of a richly illustrated children's book.

I have something of a marriage of convenience with metal. I've always tended to use metal simply as a means to an end, mostly making pieces which resemble three dimensional drawing from steel wire. Steel wire is cheap, lightweight and (mostly) stays where you tell it to go. It has been an interesting departure for me to work so much with surface and colour for this exhibition, patinating sheet metal and creating rich surfaces with metal-rich paints, metal leaf and chemical patinas. Much of my practice as an artist has been the opposite of this; it has been to break down the rich colours and textures of nature into a rationalised steel line.

The pieces are made from a combination of metal, wood and paper. I've tended to use spray painted surfaces to give unity to the whole, masking and stencilling to create pattern rather than brush painting. This collection leads from a series of drawings I was making last year, similar in subject matter, where I used multi-part paper stencils and car spray paint, drawing back in at the end with pen and ink. It is also very important to me that I make all the pieces. Each scribed line and hammer mark, each shaped wooden element is made by me; this piece represents about 5 months full time work.

One of my tutors in college would ask, "Do you see your work as a world?" To a large extent this project has been entirely the creating of a world within the gallery, with all the individual elements uniting to form a single visual language, a child's miniature garden in a shoe-box writ large.

Remarks

Artists’ reception Friday, November 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Open hours:

Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm - 6 pm
Sunday from 12 pm - 4 pm
The Gallery is closed on Monday

Admission: Free
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 2, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 13.5 x 10.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 2, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
13.5 x 10.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 3, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 11 x 8.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 3, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
11 x 8.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 4, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 14 x 10.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 4, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
14 x 10.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 6, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 14 x 8.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 6, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
14 x 8.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 7, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 13 x 7 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 7, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
13 x 7 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 8, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 8.5 x 10.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 8, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
8.5 x 10.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 8, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 8.5 x 10.5 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 8, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
8.5 x 10.5 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Pierce Healy. Brooch: Memory Map 11, 2010. Sterling silver, wood. 7 x 10 x .75 cm. Pierce Healy
Brooch: Memory Map 11, 2010
Sterling silver, wood
7 x 10 x .75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Installation: Walking Stick, 2010. Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint. 32 x 15 x 15 cm. Thomas Hill
Installation: Walking Stick, 2010
Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint
32 x 15 x 15 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Sculpture: Snail, 2010. Wood, steel, paint. 32 x 30 x 24 cm. Thomas Hill
Sculpture: Snail, 2010
Wood, steel, paint
32 x 30 x 24 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Sculpture: Birds, 2010. Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint. 28 x 16 x 8 cm Largest. Thomas Hill
Sculpture: Birds, 2010
Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint
28 x 16 x 8 cm Largest
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Installation: Bound Wire Bird, 2010. Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint. 71 x 13 x 44 cm. Thomas Hill
Installation: Bound Wire Bird, 2010
Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint
71 x 13 x 44 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Installation: Spider, 2010. Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint. 28 x 24 x 15 cm. Thomas Hill
Installation: Spider, 2010
Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint
28 x 24 x 15 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Installation: Untitled, 2010. Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint. Thomas Hill
Installation: Untitled, 2010
Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Thomas Hill. Installation: Leaves, 2010. Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint. Thomas Hill
Installation: Leaves, 2010
Wood, steel, copper, brass, gold leaf, paint
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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