Martha Sturdy’s work is embodied by a fundamental sensitivity towards the natural world and an appreciation for the Earth’s complex relationship to human activity, as evident in this latest installation. Created in connection to the larger sculptural series All Fall Down, which was included in a 2022-2023 solo-exhibition at the West Vancouver Art Museum, the work explores themes of climate change, extreme weather, and natural life cycles.
The sculptures incorporate several crumbling ancient cedar logs, thoughtfully salvaged from a once fire-stricken group of trees in Pemberton, British Columbia. Selected for their raw, undulating forms and split to reveal grain, composition, and life-cycle, the inherent drama and imperfection of the wood is heightened by tempering and treatment.
Never-before-seen by the public, this most recent complement to All Fall Down marks a material departure from earlier iterations of the works. Cast in bronze, Martha Sturdy’s new sculptures reveal an underlying tension around medium and materiality that she has consistently sought to balance throughout her decades-long artistic practice.