Circle of Rust

Artist's Statement

A great deal of physical and mental effort goes into the creation of even simple manufactured objects. Even when we are ready to throw something out, when it is no longer useful to us, the energy of creation is still present in the object. My goal is to rescue that energy, to resurrect the objects and highlight their value. My sculptures focus on small parts that would be hidden inside a machine. Removed from their original context, the creative content of each part can be seen.

I started working with manufactured castoffs as a kid, playing with broken electronic parts from my father's projects. Recently, doing basic home repair tasks, I found myself pulling out things that didn't work anymore, but still had an intrinsic beauty. Much of the energy of their creation was still there. Even something as useless looking as a scrap of electric cable can reveal its history of design.

I typically work with basic construction techniques and tools – sawzall, drill, drywall screws, construction adhesive. The actual construction elements are left exposed, juxtaposing the sophisticated history of the reclaimed objects and the raw assembly of the whole piece. Items in my pieces come from the trash or from scrap left over after a home fix-it project.

The topics for my sculptures revolve around interpersonal relationships and community. I look at the balance between the individual and the group and the dynamic tension created there. Each person must find a balancing point for that tension. Life can be painful when it is out of balance, and energetically creative when it is in balance. My pieces and their titles grow together, as the idea in the title pulls me towards objects to include and the objects push and shift the meaning of the title.

Kevin McCarthy