Block title

Share:

About David Paul

David Paul Bacharach (b.1949) was born in Baltimore, Maryland. At an early age he was taught watercolor painting and sewing by his grandfather, how to work metal and wood from his father and picked up a passion for weaving from his mother. He studied at Case Western Reserve University, receiving his B.A. in Biochemistry in 1971 and received advanced training in physiology in 1974 from the University of Maryland. David is totally self-taught as an artist. While still in high school he began exhibiting... more

a parliment of Owls.... a conspiracy of Ravens

It is all subjective, defined by one’s sense of intensity…
For years, I walked through woodlands, photographing/gathering; leaves, stones, pieces of bark or moss. I observed form and color, was aware of the graceful calligraphy of birds in flight, but rarely noticed the insects, small mammals and individual plants, the substructure of the woodland that created a kind of hieroglyphic sign language whose meaning of was overpowered by grander forms and colors.
In this series of works I developed a language that registers these individual components, but which at the same time is as specified as an ideogram.
This is of course subjective, but it is so real to me that it feels "real".

  • Raven-the orator...close-up

    Raven-the orator: ideogram: woodland eyes/beak, dense leaf pattern copper, stainless steel 29" x 40" x 10"
    close-up Raven-the orator. ideogram: woodland eyes/beak, dense leaf pattern ideogram: woodland eyes/beak, dense leaf pattern copper, stainless steel 29" x 40" x 10"
  • Raven-the Orator

     Raven-the Orator ideogram: woodland eyes/beak, dense leaf pattern 29"x 40" x 15"
    Raven-the Orator...full frontal view ideogram: woodland eyes/beak, dense leaf pattern, tangled invasive vines 29"x 40" x 15"
  • praying mantis...close-up

    One of the first works completed as part of this project was a 96" high sculpture of a praying mantis poised patiently on a steel rod of grass. I chose the praying mantis because of it's architectural body and the inherent symbolic meaning attributed to t
    One of the first works completed as part of this project was a 96" high sculpture of a praying mantis poised patiently on a steel rod of grass. I chose the praying mantis because of it's architectural body and the inherent symbolic meaning attributed to the insect. Appearing calm, patient, even meditative this contradicts the insects aggressive, indiscriminately omnivorous reality. copper, bronze steel 2012 96"H x 75"w
  • Raven-the Statesman....full view

    Raven-the Statesman, each bird in the series is different, capturing a different aspect of the birds essence.  ideogram: woodland beak, dense leaf pattern, tangled of invasive vines, detritus of man copper, bronze 45"L x 43"H x 15"W
    Raven-the Statesman, each bird in the series is different, capturing a different aspect of the birds essence. ideogram: woodland beak, dense leaf pattern, tangled of invasive vines, detritus of man copper, bronze 45"L x 43"H x 15"W
  • Raven-in thought

    Raven-in thought The ravens intelligence and curiosity is a constant wonder to observe. ideogram: woodland beak/eyes/claws-danger, dense leaf pattern, tangled invasive vines copper, bronze  36"L x 15"H x 13"W
    Raven-in-thought The ravens intelligence and curiosity is a constant wonder. ideogram: woodland beak/eyes/claws-danger, dense leaf pattern, tangled invasive vines copper, bronze 36"L x 15"H x 13"W
  • Raven....close-up of leaf litter, matted undergrowth

     Raven-close-up. ideogram; matted undergrowth/leaf litter copper
    Raven....close-up of leaf litter, matted undergrowth ideogram; undergrowth/leaf litter copper
  • wood thrush-nest-shovel...close-up

     wood thrush.... a nest with eggs... leaves balanced on a ne72" long steel branch rotates 360 degrees.... bobbs up and down... supported by a stylized shovel. ideogram: transparent qualities of woodland birds and animals, individual leaf, domed-shaped
    wood thrush..close-up.... a nest with eggs... leaves balanced on a 72" long steel branch rotates 360 degrees.... bobs up and down... supported by a stylized shovel. ideogram: transparent qualities of woodland birds and animals, individual leaf, domed-shaped nest (the result of species transitioning to nesting off the ground, where the risk from predators is greater), detritus of man steel, copper, bronze. 72" wide x 84" high
  • wood thrush-nest-shovel....full view

    ideogram: transparent qualities of woodland birds and animals, individual leaf, domed-shaped nest
    Full view, wood thrush.... a nest with eggs... leaves balanced on a 72" long steel branch rotates 360 degrees.... bobs up and down... supported by a stylized shovel. ideogram: transparent qualities of woodland birds and animals, individual leaf, domed-shaped nest (the result of species transitioning to nesting off the ground, where the risk from predators is greater), detritus of man steel, copper, bronze. 72" wide x 84" high
  • Balzac, Spotted Owl....close-up

    great horned owl ideogram: secretive, concealed, covert qualities of woodland birds and mammals, tangled/knotty nature of the woods stainless steel, copper, bronze. 72" wide x 84" high
    great horned owl ideogram: secretive, concealed, covert qualities of woodland birds and mammals, tangled/knotty nature of the woods stainless steel, copper, bronze. 72" wide x 84" high
  • Balzac, Spotted Owl...full view

    Balzac, great horned owl. ideogram: secretive, concealed, covert qualities of woodland birds and mammals, danger, tangled/knotty nature of the woods stainless steel, copper, bronze.
    Balzac, Great Horned Owl...full view ideogram: secretive, concealed, covert qualities of woodland birds and mammals, danger, tangled/knotty nature of the woods stainless steel, copper, bronze. 15" x15" x 40"

cans, tea bowls and chimneys

“cans, tea bowls and chimneys” is a series revealing ways in which the landscape has been altered by the careless jetsam of modern life.
In 1970 I moved away from welding and began plaiting metal allowing me to develop a tension between detail and form that had alluded me with welding. I chose copper to work with because of its pliability, availability and the colors I could obtain with copper that could not be produced employing other metals. Working with simple hand tools I plaited the copper, often plein air, reproducing the actual visual conditions seen at the point where I encountered my subjects, contrasting with my studio metal work that tended to create a predetermined look.

  • Blue

    woven copper form, chemical patina
    woven copper form, chemical patina
  • blue II

    blue II...copper, bronze, plaited, chemical patina 15.5" x 12" x 12.5"
  • Tea Bowl

    tea bowl 6" X 6.25" X 6.25"
  • weber-chimney

    Our local woods are being smothered by invading flora. Chinese bittersweet, wild grape, stilt grass, purple loosestrife, Japanese honey suckle and more, form sculptural forms of impenetrable material surrounding and eventually destroying everything.
    Our local woods are being smothered by invading flora. Chinese bittersweet, wild grape, stilt grass, purple loosestrife, Japanese honey suckle and more, form sculptural forms of impenetrable material surrounding and eventually destroying anything they encircle. I continually clear these invasive from our property. While cleaning out a small wood lot I saw what I thought was a natural form that looked like a miniaturized brick kiln with its huge chimney stack, imposing itself on the surrounding woodland.
  • can

    While traveling, I am constantly amazed how many people feel it is appropriate to toss anything from fast food wrappers to mattresses on the sides of the roads and in our woodlands. Often I gather the waste and dump it in the next available trash can but
    While traveling, I am constantly amazed how many people feel it is appropriate to toss anything from fast food wrappers to mattresses on the sides of the roads and in our woodlands. Often I gather the waste and dump it in the next available trash can but normally this material presents only disgust not inspiration. But, on occasion a rusty piece of steel will catch my attention. A Trader Joe's soup can with its bulging midsection and copious layers of rust intermingled with an interesting graphic was one such object.
  • ama bowl X

    tea bowl.....woven copper slittings, heat patina
    ama bowl X.....woven copper slitting, heat patina 24" X 28" X 28"
  • soccer-chimney, gourd IV

     soccer-chimney In a near-by woodland I found a perfectly round, ball of honey suckle and multiflora rose in full flower.  I realized this wasn't a natural form but it was so fragrant I cut the vines, bringing the honeysuckle and roses back to the studio.
    soccer-chimney I found a perfectly round, ball of honey suckle and multiflora rose in full flower. It's fragrance was captivating. I cut the vines, bringing the honeysuckle and roses back to the studio. For days the flowers perfumed the studio but eventually, the flowers faded and the leaves wilted. I could then see the greenery had concealed a heavily scarred, deflated soccer ball. hieroglyph: matted vine/ order emerging from chaos copper, 2012 14" X 10.5" X 10.5
  • enfield

    enfield, plaited copper form, chemical patina
    enfield, plaited copper form, chemical patina
  • fiddlehead

    fiddlehead fern...oak log carved into basic form and sheathed in discarded roofing copper, chemical patina
    fiddlehead...oak log carved into basic form and sheathed in discarded roofing copper, chemical patina
  • telephone wire sheathing

    disgarded telephone wire sheathing
    discarded telephone wire sheathing found in the local woods steel substructure, sheathing woven into steel employing a traditional Japanese basketry technique hieroglyph: waste, disregard for the environment

quilts

In the early 1990s I created 14 works reflecting a distinctly American art form the classic one patch patterned scrap quilt.
Quilting is a collage technique. Memories of home, family, community are preserved from worn bits and pieces gathered over time that relate personal stories as ideograms of memory and pattern holding meaning for the maker.
How I originally employed the quilt technique is still very much the way I use it now, and though look and scale are quite different superficially, the original identity is intact.



  • Circle 2

    "Circle II"...a quilt of woven scrap copper. 9 patches quilted with steel
    "Circle II"...a quilt of woven scrap copper. 9 patches quilted with steel
  • carpet

    carpet....three woven copper scrap, patches each 36" x36" stacked and quilted with copper wire. Heat patination.
    carpet....three woven copper, scrap, patches each 36" x36" stacked and quilted with copper wire. Heat patination.
  • workshop-scrap-quilt

    workshop-scrap-quilt made from the studio jetsam:gloves, tires, embroidery backing,scrap copper, scrap carpet, discarded house paint, barbed truss plates, quilted with wire
    workshop-scrap-quilt made from the studio jetsam: well worn work gloves layered with latex, woven retread tire, ( black); embroidery backing (blue); copper scrap originally destine for recycling, woven and colored with heat; worn 1", sand paper belts, woven and colored with house paint from the local dump; scrap carpeting colored with additional dump house paint; barbed truss plates recovered at a demo site. 40 squares quilted together with steel wire 108"w x 84"h x3"d
  • Time-points, summer

    Time-points, summer: a quilt of woven scrap copper. 6 patches quilted with steel
    Time-points, summer: a quilt of woven scrap copper. 6 patches quilted with steel copper, steel 36" x 54"x 2"
  • Circle I

    One of my first quilts: woven copper and woven steel patinated with heat and chemicals. quilted together with steel and copper wire  copper, steel 48" x48" x2"
    One of my first quilts: woven copper and woven steel patinated with heat and chemicals. quilted together with steel and copper wire copper, steel 48" x48" x2"
  • Chicago

    Chicago: dumpster diving at the building site finding aluminum and stainless steel scrap.  A very cold January day. 12 aluminum and stainless steel patches, ground, woven and plaited. quilted with stainless steel strip
    Chicago: dumpster diving at the building site finding aluminum and stainless steel scrap. A very cold January day, I looked to my left and saw grey lake and sky merged. To my right was a silver, glass and steel building piercing the grey above. 12 aluminum and stainless steel patches, ground, woven and plaited. quilted with stainless steel strip 72" x 54" x 3"
  • pink quilt

    pink quilt: copper roof material, truss plates, fabric, cardboard, and assorted lagan recovered from a building site.  46 patches quilted with copper wire and staples
    pink quilt: copper roof material, truss plates, fabric, cardboard, and assorted lagan recovered from a building site. 46 patches quilted with copper wire and staples 48"x48"
  • Yellow Sentinels, following 9/11

    following 9/11.  Five panels of woven: scrap copper and steel, abrasive belts, tire retread, cardboard and table mats.  all material was burned, treated with chemicals and some panels were coated with lime and clay.
    Yellow Sentinels, following 9/11. Five panels of woven: scrap copper and steel, abrasive belts, tire retread, cardboard and table mats. All material was burned, treated with chemicals and some panels were coated with lime and clay.
  • white barn

    a rural Maine white barn on a 12"x12"woven copper panel
    I painted a rural Maine white barn on a 12"x12"woven copper panel Patterns created by the barns roof and siding intrigued me. I photographed and photoshopped the resulting painting integrating 64 cropped patches of the white barn painting using computer software to heighten the color, eliminate details, repeat, reposition and flatten the depth of field. 48"x48"
  • ambulatory care quilt

    Florida hospital: 130 patches of woven copper and steel quilted with copper and steel wire and staples
    130 patches of woven copper and steel quilted with copper and steel wire and staples

a lens in the landscape

When out of the studio I take time to ramble, recording what I see with sketches, photographs and gathered curiosities.
Generally, I focus on a communities quiet corners, commercial/industrial buildings, industrial residue and eccentric individuals.
Recording from my perspective, impressions and occasionally self-portraits the sub-conscious with specific locations,
A distinct narrative develops that enables analysis and synthesis that taps into the sub-conscious. Most often this narrative reveals it self while I am sketching what I believe to be an objective perspective. In reality, my perspective is subjective, a metaphor.

Employing this personal, theoretical framework .... A visual language, as the resolution to an image for which exists no traditional solution, eventually reveals itself.
.

  • urban portrait

    Walking in Philadelphia I saw a man resting awkwardly in a lawn chair. no pencil or paper available I use duct tape and a scrap of plywood to capture the moment. I  preserved the memory of the resting man on woven copper, using 10,000 rusted staples.
    Walking in Philadelphia I saw a man resting awkwardly in a lawn chair. No pencil or paper available I use duct tape and a scrap of plywood to capture the moment. I preserved the memory of the resting man on woven copper, using 10,000 rusted staples. 24"x 24" x2"
  • pipe II

    Washington , D.C.  plaited copper  18" x15"
    Washington, D.C. plaited copper 18" x15"
  • Ark

    How do you create a modern Ark of the Covenant?
    Project: Create a modern Ark of the Covenant. A modern equivalent of the golden chest described in Exodus, for a new synagogue. The Ark was a vessel or box, covered in gold with a cherubim on either end. It was said to contain the source of consciousness through which all is created. To create an Ark for a new synagogue was to investigate the nature of evolving reality and creation and manifest that mercurial reality as a three dimensional statement that would remain forever unchanged.
  • pipe 1

    3 blocks from the White House, I saw a man wrapped in cardboard, plastic bags and bits of cloth. Just awakening, he stretched his arms upward after what had to be a rough nights sleep. I quickly recorded the moment on the back of a manilla folder and move
    3 blocks from the White House, I saw a man wrapped in cardboard, plastic bags and bits of cloth. Just awakening, he stretched his arms upward after what had to be a rough nights sleep. I recorded the moment on the back of an envelope and moved on. Later, I stumbled across some PVC pipe and flashing in the discard pile of a building site. The man, the pipe and the flashing merged. copper , pvc 19" x 30"x 7"
  • Callow Avenue-Baltimore

    I grew up at 2200 Callow Ave, Baltimore, several blocks below the now bull dozed wasteland of old Whitelock Street. Walking round the old neighborhood I sketched, remembered, accumulated and discarded; mosaic tile, rusted bits of metal, an old pair of pli
    I grew up at 2200 Callow Ave, Baltimore, several blocks from the bull dozed wasteland of old Whitelock Street. Walking the old neighborhood I sketched, remembered, accumulated and discarded; tile, rusted bits of metal, an old pair of pliers, wire, memories and family. 67"h x 24"w x 5"d
  • collected offerings

    children retrieving balls from the outlet drain of a sewer using a crab net, dropping each orb into a basket.  the balls looked to be in desperate shape but obviously useful treasures to the children.  back in the studio.....orb and container.  corroded e
    Children retrieving balls from the outlet of a sewer, using a crab net, they dropped each precious orb into a basket. The balls looked to be in desperate shape but obviously were treasures to the children. Back in the studio.....copper orbs and a container. Corroded eggs resting in their nest. A comment on todays disposable people and culture. 36" x 36" x 10"

collage


I begin working, with at best a vague impulse, the result of living with my accumulated sketches, photographs and collected discarded materials. But, when I pick up my torch and hammers, I had provided no method for myself to proceed directly from initial impulse, to hammer and metal, to a completed work.
I found I did not think abstractly with my torch and hammers. What I thought about when working with the metal were principally the issues associated with the craft of metalsmithing, which was a problem.
The act of turning sheet metal into a sculpture transformed the material, allowing the material to speak with a voice of its own but, the final work was unrecognizable when compared to my original vision.
To resolve the issue of converting hammer blows into an actuality that was not directed by technique I found I needed an informative mid-step. An active work-platform that allowed me to coalesce ideas, creating for myself a visual substructure for the work.
Collage, to my mind more useful than other available techniques because it could more easily be made to serve a purpose.
My original paintings and charcoal sketches, metal silhouettes, scraps of paper, oxidized metal, card and fabric, leaves and woodland litter and other additive elements are layered, cut, considered and reconsidered.
I then photograph the cumulative artwork which comprises a retrospective overview of my approach to image creation including painting, fabric collage and sculptural elements.
Finally computer software is employed to enlarge, shrink, crop, blur, contrast and intensify colors, obscure/eliminate details, create repetition, and flatten the depth of field. The result is a mach-cut that disrupts spatial or temporal continuity, shatters preconceived notions, and questions what the image is communicating.

CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words. a fund raising project for CERF, "Craftsman Emergency Relief Fund"

In 2014 a small group of crafts people gathered in Chicago to discuss the future of the studio craft movement in America. During those conversations several people lamented the fact that no one had chronicled the history of the movement and community they felt so much a part of .
It was noted that any first hand history had to be gathered soon as many of the original participants were Black Mountain School graduates and World War Two, Korean and Vietnam era vets and as such were no longer working or even alive. These craft artists defined themselves as creative individuals, many self taught, who earned their living, not by teaching or writing but specifically by creating work in their studios, loading a vehicle and transporting their work to events around the country in order to sell that work.
Additionally the Craftsman's Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), a non-profit founded and funded by these same studio crafts artists, which provided direct financial assistance and emergency relief, as well as business development information concerning health, safety, and insurance, was in need of money as a result of the recent six year recession.
All artists were particularly hard hit in the recession. Few had the funds to provide assistance to CERF+ or any of the craft artists Cerf+ normally helped.
Two of us, Valerie Hector ( bead artist), and myself, discussed developing a project that could both serve to chronicle the studio craft artist movement and community and provide CERF with much needed funds
CRAFTSPEOPLE:In Their Own Words, an intimate look at the history, philosophy and experiences of the studio crafts movement is the result of that discussion. All profits will go to support the activities of CERF+

  • original jacket design for the book

    The 85 stories contained in Craftspeople in Their Own Words range from practical to philosophical; from comical to dramatic; and from deeply personal to purely factual. Whatever the theme, these stories inspire, recounting career challenges, family crises
    My original book jacket for CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words. 30 months ago Valerie hector ( noted bead artist), and myself began developing a project to chronicle the American Crafts movement from the 1960s until today combining the project with a fund raising effort to support the, "Craftsman's Emergency Relief Fund".
  • original collage of portrait for, book.

    Original collage I created of contributing craft artists  to the book "CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words"
    Original collage I created of portraits fo the book "CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words"
  • HOW TO COOK AND OX.pdf

    My original story for the book, "CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words". In 1966 the American Crafts Council held a conference, major exhibition of contemporary crafts and the Councils first wholesale craft event. This is the story of that very first event, that set the tone for the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the White House Collection of American Craft and hundreds of other craft conferences, exhibitions, collections and fairs sponsored by hundreds of institutions in the decades to come.
    PDF icon HOW TO COOK AND OX.pdf
  • original collage for book

    my original collages of studios, material and finished work would be appropriate for inclusion. I created this collage of completed work that I took photographs of while visiting exhibits  at the shows I attended.
    There were so many wonderful images of work contributed, and so little space in the book, I decided that collages of studios, material and finished work would be appropriate for inclusion. I created this collage of completed work that I took photographs of while visiting exhibits at the shows I attended.
  • Crafts at Woodstock

    A story written by myself for a craft artist who could not write his own story. Some stories were so good I wanted them to be preserved so, in those instances I interviewed the individual and wrote their stories myself. "At five o'clock in the afternoon, Richie Havens opened the concert with "The Minstrel from Gault." Like a rock in a storm-swollen stream I stood my ground, reaching repeatedly into my cardboard treasure chest. People of all descriptions poured around me. My first load quickly sold out. I made the short trip from the road to our tarp, smiling broadly at our good fortune. I talked, sold, bargained and bartered continuously for hours."
    PDF icon Crafts at Woodstock
  • original collage of workspaces

    my original collage of studios I created for the book, "CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words"
    My original collage of workspaces created for the book, "CRAFTSPEOPLE: in their own words"
  • Maureen and Michael Banner story as told to David Paul Bacharach

    A story written by myself for artists who could not write their own story. Some stories were so good I wanted them to be preserved so, in those instances I interviewed the individual and wrote their stories myself. ......"Mo sat cross-legged on the gravel drive-way of their modest first home in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. “Have we heard from the Post Office yet?” she inquired tentatively. “Yes,” Michael said from under the car. “What did they say?” “We both passed,” .........
    PDF icon Maureen and Michael Banner story as told to David Paul Bacharach

myth and arthropoda

“What blocks a creative solution to a problem is often an overly narrow and single minded concentration from a single frame of reference. The person who can combine frames of reference and draw connections between ostensibly unrelated points of view is likely to be the one who makes the creative breakthrough. " Denise Shekerjian, Uncommon Genius
In 2014, fiber artist and Professor Emerita, Art Department, University of Hawaii, Pat Hickman and I set out to challenge ourselves. Pat suggested a collaboration. We spoke for several days about how the collaboration could proceed.
Pat had previously collaborated for eleven years with fiber artist Lillian Elliot. I had never collaborated with anyone.
Our collaboration was going to be one of a fiber artist working with delicate animal membranes and a metal artist welding steel and copper. The fact that those two materials might not mutually coexist presented potential problems but, creative solutions to those very problems was part of the appeal.
We both agreed we wanted a means to expand our personal artistic visions but we felt we needed plan. To that end we decided I would work on my own in Baltimore. I would then deliver the metal frames to Pat who would work independently in her Hudson Valley studio. Every 4 to 6 months we would come together for several days to talk, study and complete a few of the pieces we both felt had “potential”.
My metal work often begins life based on a realistic observation of the natural world but, in the end it is about something more abstract, it concerns what we value, what is important. The work never addresses the natural world in a purely literal way.
Pat’s animal membrane coverings don’t represent anything specific, but when you see them you feel that they are “real”. These paradoxes are what the collaboration is about. When the metal and the fiber interact, we feel they, lead you to a new way of seeing, not possible without our interaction.
Since beginning our collaboration in the fall of 2014 our collaborative work has been exhibited in three gallery exhibitions, featured on the cover of the “Textile Society of America," biennial report, fall 2015 and included in an exhibition at the New Bedford Museum of Art.








  • reef

     massed ridge of forms, each one 5" to 12" in diameter, arranged as rock, coral and sand just below the seas surface
    a massed ridge of forms arranged as rock, coral and sand just below the seas surface steel, copper, animal membranne 48" X 132" X 15"
  • charybdis

    A black Charybdis whirlpool swirls, consumes; surrounded by the Scylla. Choosing between two evils Animal fiber stained with ink is enclosed within a steel armature  layered with unaltered animal fiber.
    A black Charybdis whirlpool swirls, consumes; surrounded by the Scylla. Choosing between two evils Animal fiber stained with ink is enclosed within a steel armature layered with unaltered animal fiber.
  • primeval

    form of the earliest of ages; steel, copper, animal membrane
    form of the earliest of ages steel copper animal membrane 11" x 17" X 12"
  • harvest

     transporting goods in ancient baskets, henna tattooed trays. Red oxide, steel, animal membrane, copper, bamboo, waxed linen. 25"  x 33"  x14"
    Traders, traveling together transporting goods in ancient baskets, henna tattooed trays. Red oxide, steel, animal membrane, copper, bamboo, waxed linen. 25" x 33" x14"
  • wounded

    what remains after the armies retreat?  Steel, copper, animal membrane, pierced.
    what remains after the armies retreat? Steel, copper, animal membrane, pierced. 30" h x 18"w
  • molt

    shedding the old shell to make way for new growth; steel, animal membrane, iron oxide
    shedding the old shell to make way for new growth steel, animal membrane, iron oxide 5" X 10" X 6" and 18" X 14" X 15"
  • hatch

    Door to other worlds. Thank you Mr. Carroll Steel, animal membrane. 10" x 11" x13"
    Door to other worlds. Thank you Mr. Carroll Steel, animal membrane. 10" x 11" x13"
  • luminaria

    luminaria steel, animal membrane; pierced, burnt, stretched, tatooed 17" X 23" X 21"
    glowing with an internal light exposing structure and flaws steel, animal membrane; pierced, burnt, stretched, tatooed 17" X 23" X 21"
  • excarnation

    Bleaching and bloating as excarnation progresses, flesh still encases bone. animal membrane, steel 11"  x 17"  x 12"
    Bleaching and bloating as excarnation progresses, flesh still encases bone. animal membrane, steel 11" x 17" x 12"

making visible the invisible....the Leopold wall project

An international symposium was held at Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton, New Jersey in 2009. Artists from Spain, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, Scotland and the United States were invited to create works of art, icons, addressing the artist’s relationship to the world around us.
I was invited by the symposiums' organizer to attend, present a talk and create a large permanent outdoor, sculptural installation. I chose to speak on the work of Aldo Leopold, whose 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac," had influenced my thinking about environmental issues and my place in the world around me.
"One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the unchanged dimensional marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
The installation I envisioned was three hand woven copper, (recycled scrap), walls. Each 120'’ high x 168'’ long x 14" deep. The walls were intended to demonstrate what Leopold referred to as “land ethic”. A visible reminder of the relationship between people and nature. I decided to weave the walls in order to expose as much surface area as possible. Choosing to weave copper, a reactive metal would provide a clear visual demonstration of Leopold's "land ethic" philosophy, in that pollutant contact with copper whether particulate, liquid or gas will generate; salt precipitation, (blue or green colors) or oxidation, (brown or black colors) to occur. The more dramatic the color change the greater the degree of pollution.
The installation was also designed to serve as the capture and diverting component of a rain garden. The Centers property had been plagued for decades by constant flooding of buildings and property. I positioned the walls at specific locations on the crest of a rise acting to slow the rush of rain water, providing time for the water to be absorbed, thereby decreasing the issue of flooding and providing water to a garden area at the base of the rise, near the blacksmith's studio.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise,” …. Aldo Leopold.

  • Spring 2009 Wall

    "Peter's Valley, Leopold Project Wall". Installed at Peters Valley Center during an International Symposium in 2009. Symposium participants, who assisted with the weaving and installation of the walls, pose in front of the completed sculpture.
  • Fall 2009 Wall

    "Aldo Leopold Wall Project", fall 2009. Patchy darkening and noted iridescent dichroic, (interference colors), at ground level.
    "Aldo Leopold Wall Project", fall 2009. Patchy darkening and noted iridescent dichroic, (interference colors), at ground level. Interference colors faded after several weeks as they are composed of free radicals and therefore only loosely adherent. The wall's deeper colors persisted indicating probable sulfidedeposits on the surface. . Possible causes; acid rain, pollution of the surrounding soil, sulphur in the air and anaerobic environment of nearby marshy areas.
  • Fall 2010

    One year after installation the wall is showing thick, adherent oxidation that would normally take 3 years to develop.
    One year after installation the wall is showing thick, adherent oxidation that would normally take 3 years to develop.
  • Spring 2010

     Acidic residue of rain water remains on a reactive surface.
    Walls exhibit, overall deep adherent patination. Although the acidity of rain in the eastern US is generally high, rain by itself is not sufficient to corrode copper in this manner. This reaction occurs when the acidic residue of rain water remains on a reactive surface; dissolved by dew and other conditions that don't sufficiently dilute the acids or there is a persistent generation of sulfides in the atmosphere causing rapid patination. .
  • Spring 2011

    Significant verdigris observed. Probable cause acid rain and/or sulphur dioxide, (common air pollutant) converting to sulfuric acid.
    Significant verdigris observed. Probable cause acid rain and/or sulphur dioxide, (common air pollutant) converting to sulfuric acid.
  • Winter 2012

    In three years the walls show changes normally seen on the seacoast or a heavily industriallized area after 5-7 years. A visible reminder of Leopold's "land ethic" philosophy
    In three years the walls show changes normally seen on the seacoast or a heavily industriallized area after 5-7 years. A visible reminder of Leopold's "land ethic" philosophy

Connect with David Paul

David Paul's Curated Collection

View David Paul's favorite works from other Baker Artists