Past exhibits and events with Northwind
2017 Showcase artist (click to see all 2017 artists)
My work has grown out of a love of quiet meditative practices; I have always worked with my hands. There is a calm, quiet, centeredness when the wire twists. It takes shape as it grows— a sculptural drawing in space.
I work with steel wire and basketry techniques to create abstract sculpture. The detail in the structure forces a moment of pause in that is lacking in today’s world. I want people to stop, look and reflect on the time spent creating the forms and the history of the objects entwined in the pieces, and then take a few deep breaths in response.
Ruth Asawa has had a very strong influence on my work. Soon After I discovered her work and taught myself her method of knitting wire, I made a piece that hung unfinished in my studio for almost six months. I couldn’t figure out what it needed, why it couldn’t finish it. I had the idea to weave in a rock, this added weight and tension the sculpture had been lacking. After that piece, the ideas just started coming to me and my work has evolved from there.
Leah Gerrard has worked with metal for twenty years. Her passion for wire was sparked by a jewelry class in Italy, and led her to explore sculpture at Linfield College. Inspired by a fellow student’s intricate beaded wire basket, Leah started weaving her own. After making a few beaded baskets, she realized that it was the simple skeletal structure of wire that interested her. Self-taught, she experimented with various wires and different weaving techniques.
Leah continues to develop her methods, expanding into large-scale sculpture entwined with found objects. Her process continually evolves in response to challenges created through her designs.
Artist Trust Recipient: Winning an Artist Trust Fellowship was an amazing validation at a time when I really needed encouragement to move forward with my art career. Because my process straddles the worlds of fine art, craft, and textile it can be hard to know where I fit in. Having an accolade like a fellowship is wonderful addition to a resume and helps navigate the sometimes-treacherous waters of the art world. The fellowship and the subsequent support the organization has provided me has helped me gain confidence in my creative voice and I am very grateful to Artist Trust.