Above image: The world of the surface 2011. Lionel Bawden. Coloured Staedtler pencils, epoxy & incralac on perspex shelves. 29.0 x 23.5 x 29.0 cm & 26.7 x 24.0 x 10.7 cm, 2 pieces. Image courtesy Karen Woodbury Gallery and the artist.
Exploring the patterns intrinsic to organic growth and mutation, where, like the Fibonacci spiral, nature performs a series of self-perpetuating patterns, Lionel Bawden’s sculpture continue to evolve. The latest works to arrive in the stockroom of Karen Woodbury Gallery have emerged over the last three years as a dripping and molten exploration of bending a medium.
Where earlier iterations explored patterns derived from the hexagonal cross section of the pencils from which his work is formed, these latest works both embrace and deny their existence. To wit, the colours of the pencils have been arranged to form concentric diamond patterns, where both the coloured portion of each pencil end and the surrounding timber mimics an inlay.
This is countered by the form the sculpture takes, which is almost oblivious to the formal diamond pattern. Rather these sculptures stretch and drip their way across shelves and tables. Elongating the forms further, Bawden has allowed the lengths of the pencils to be exposed as layered and elegant fringes of colour.
Bawden’s work is held in collections of note including Artbank, The Queensland Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia as well as regional galleries and many private collections in Australia and abroad. He is represented by Karen Woodbury Gallery.