I have not tried to reproduce nature, I have represented it.
— Paul Cezanne
Never where these words more true than in the work of sculptor, David Engdahl. The former architect has been shaping wood to create beautiful sculptures for over twenty years. Inspired by the forms in the environment surrounding his home in north Florida, Engdahl takes his cue from organic shapes, simplifying or exaggerating them to create elegant embodiments of the natural world.
Using plywood, a mechanically manipulated natural material to create these organically inspired sculptures creates a dynamic tension between the material and inspiration source. By taking a normally lower level type of wood source and creating spledid sculptures, Engdahl is not only taking something “ugly” and making it beautiful, but also hearkening back to the wood’s original forms.
The beauty in nature is all around us. But we rarely notice it, much less ponder it. Engdahl’s work may help us recall the glimpse of antlers in the woods, the shadow of a sea turtle making its way across the surface of the deep or the swaying of thin branches in the breeze.
He brings nature and artifice together in a way that reminds us that they can work together to reveal the best in each.
To see more of David Engdahl’s work online, visit his website. Be sure to check out this wonderful video in which the artist explains his creative process and give you a glimpse inside his home studio. If you’re in the North Florida area, stop by Studio 121 at 121 W. Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, where he will be the featured artist, August through October.
Featured image is Lamelliform #194. All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.