Copper in the Arts

September 2012

New Works by April Wood on View at Austin's AMOA-Arthouse

April Wood, Feeding the Hunger April Wood, Feeding the Hunger 10, 2011. Copper, brass, rubber, 8"h x 8"w x 6"d.

Photograph by Joseph Hyde.

April Wood, a metalsmith artist working with the complex relationship between food and the body, has a new show on view Austin's AMOA-Arthouse, through Dec. 2. Wood mixes her strong interest in women's craft tradition with "masculine" materials such as copper, silver, bronze and steel. Her sculptures resemble a variety of objects: the horns from a late nineteenth century Victorla, or an abstracted flower, with petals made of metal and sheep insides. She uses animal parts to emphasize the relationship between organic and inorganic materials. Wood's work explores the ritual process of eating and the tools societies use to feed one another. For the artist, eating is a form of consumption, which can span a range of emotions, from pleasurable to horrific, from overindulgent to controlling. In this way Wood's larger discussion on food's often contradictory role in the contemporary society relates to the Collections Selections theme of excess.

Her work takes on a drastically new dimension when inside a person's mouth. The stem is "consumed," leaving the petals viewable. The oral contact resembles the ongoing connection between sustenance and weight management, as the hollow center of the sculpture allows for small amounts of food to pass through. For Wood the mouth is main portal into the body, able to receive as well as prohibit.

Wood is a Texas native based in Baltimore, MD. She received her BFA from Texas State, San Marcos and her MFA from Towson University. She has exhibited at Rutgers University-New Jersey, Penn State-Pennsylvania and will be at an upcoming 2013 show at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Wood is also a visiting instructor at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC, an adjunct instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, and an adjunct professor at Texas State-San Marcos. This is the artist's first solo museum exhibition in Texas.

Resources:

AMOA-Arthouse, Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th St., Austin, TX, (512) 458-8191

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