It’s All in the Details for Rowan Mersh
Don’t freak out like I did when I discovered this amazing work by Rowan Mersh. I really freaked out. This talented multi-media sculptor creates some of the most intricate and captivating pieces I have EVER seen! Out of shells! Yes, seashells. This series of work has him laboriously arranging seashells in a tightly packed way, creating undulating waves of texture. I am completely gobsmacked by his talent. In fact, I was smitten with his work before I ever saw it in persons. But when I did see it in person at the brilliant Gallery Fumi stand at Salon Art + Design in NY last November, I was floored. It is some of the most stunningly beautiful piece of art I have ever laid eyes on. How fabulous would a piece like this look in someone’s (my) home? So fabulous.
Rowan Mersh is a multi-media sculptor and master manipulator of a material’s qualities. He uses a unique and experimental approach in his work, utilizing ordinary materials and lifting them to an extraordinary level. From transforming seashells to textile sculptures to interactive installations, Mersh’s pieces are inventive, expansive, and meticulous.
What amazes me is his ability to transform hard materials and experimental textiles to achieve a soft aesthetic. The wall-mounted sculptural assemblages of row after row of seashells combine to create an unbelievable peaceful mood. Of course, upon closer inspection, you can see his labor-intensive process of thousands upon thousands of individual components.
These materials are responsibly-sourced and range from oyster shell discs to sticks. Each material is selected for its ability to transform into sculptural qualities when used en masse, while never losing their organic feel.
The patterns in expansive numbers are evocative of patterns in nature — from the layering of feathers to the repetition of leaves. While these installations are fixed, the eye has a tendency to add movement and life to these endless swirls, peaks, and patterns.
While each of these works is generous in scale and expansive, the real satisfaction comes from close examination of the individually composed parts, meticulously placed by Mersh himself. I for one cannot wait to see his work in person again once this global pandemic lifts. Hopefully, at Salon in NYC in 2021 or even sooner.
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