My work is an exploration – emotional, spiritual and physical – of what is unseen in nature. I seek to create tangible expressions of the intangible.
From the beginning, my art has been inspired by a deep interest and curiosity about the many facets of nature. Even as a child, nature and plants in particular captivated me. Patterns, relationships, harmonies and dissonances are the forces that continue to fascinate me and initially drove me to try to embody them in my art. I came to appreciate that three dimensional art could be a means to explore and illustrate these natural occurrences. My original venture into this realm encompassed examining crystalline structures and invisible forces supporting the birth, growth and decay cycle of all living things.
My goal is to assist people in gaining a deeper understanding of the depth of beauty to be found in all aspects of nature.
My sculpture draws its vitality from my reverence for nature and my fascination with the opposing forces of geometry and entropy that underlie the structure of the physical world. The delicate balance between order and chaos, growth and decay of all matter intrigues and inspires me. I attempt to sculpturally express this dynamic tension in my work through the graceful juxtaposition of form and line in opposing abstract elements. Successful artistic synthesis of these forms results in sculpture infused with energy.
I have a strong preference to work in steel, stainless steel and bronze because of their permanence and inherent beauty, as well as their duality of character. They are, at the same time, utilitarian yet graceful, strong yet yieldingly flexible to the well-trained artisan, and have the ability to evoke a variety of textures through surface treatment: from naturally rusted to smooth and gleaming; from a soft natural patina to deep brown or black. They also lend themselves equally well to both tabletop pieces and monumental sculpture and can comfortably be used for interior as well as exterior locations. I do not cast any part of a sculpture, but rather hand-fabricate all shapes for each particular piece. These metals demand of the artist, but perform in equal measure.
Creating sculpture provides me with a deeper connection to the grace and beauty inherent in nature.
About Riis Burwell
Born in Connecticut, Burwell received a BFA in Fine Arts from Goddard College in Vermont where he studied with Peter Forakis and Charles Ginnever. Burwell went from being a studio assistant to being a studio manager for sculptor Fletcher Benton and subsequently a studio manager for sculptor Aris Demetrios. His work is in numerous corporate collections and various private collections within the United States, South America, Asia and Europe. Burwell likes working with clients for site specific work on any scale.