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Daily Art Moment: Alwyn O’Brien

On first glance, Alwyn O’Brien’s sculpture might resemble a vase. O’Brien opens up the typically solid vessel shape by piecing together hand-rolled coils of clay. She loops, elongates, twists, and weaves the strands to suggest a jumble of energetic motion. The title is like a short poem evoking multiple meanings; the words can be read either as nouns or verbs, as past or present. Speak the title out loud to experience how the sounds also twist and turn on your tongue into your ear.

Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

View from above looking into the sculpture. The nature of the clay loop shapes and how they connect to each other is clearly visible and they can be seen spiraling down into the sculpture. The “rim” of the vase shape shows loops that are twisted, overlapped, and pressed together to form the structure. The bottom half of the work is slightly out of focus in this view.

Alwyn O’ Brien (Canadian, born 1975), Wound, Wind, Wound, 2014. Porcelain and clay. Gift of John and Shari Behnke, 2018.43.3 © unknown, research required.