From the series: Talisman Rattles: A review from Lucinda Brogden for Metalsmith Magazine
Life changes have a way of subtly influencing the development of an artist’s work, sparking an evolution in imagery, visual vocabulary, and use of materials. The wood and metal sculptures in the two person exhibition at Glance Gallery represent such a point of departure for Sydney Scherr, as she literally carves out new territory for her work with a series of highly symbolic wood and metal objects that challenge expectations of scale and media, while at the same time blurring the boundaries between sculpture, jewelry, and fine enameling,
The exhibition features ritual rattles, personal talismans, and large sculptures that draw inspiration from both the ceremonial art of indigenous peoples and the natural world, yet are firmly rooted in the artist’s personal vision. While reminiscent of Southwestern landscapes, Native American rattles, and the organic line of Maori carvings, the images are translated by Scherr into a new language of line, form and color. This language speaks of personal passages, transitions, and interior dreams, while also paying homage, through spiritual overtones, to more universal cycles of life.
Themes of contrast and connection dominate this exhibition, as finely crafted and often lavishly decorated rattles are juxtaposed beside the elegantly simple and more restrained sculpture. Scherr’s background in fine jewelry is most evident in the rattles, which incorporate colorful cloisonné shapes. These personal ritual items are framed and decorated with precious metals, adorned with bezel-set stones, and supported by handles of exotic wood which have been elaborately carved and polished into thin tapers and undulating organic lines. Each rattle incorporates an element of sound if moved or shaken. They range in size from the intimate Sedona Target Rattle, which fits within the palm of a hand, to the massive Growth Rhythms Talisman Rattle, a larger than life piece that measures over seven feet in length.
Cloisonne enamel, fine and sterling silver, ebony, amethyst, beachrocks
32 x 8.5 x 3
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