David Kirkpatrick

March 18, 2010

SculptCAD Rapid Artist — Heather Gorham

This post is the second in an ongoing series highlighting the artists behind the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project. (Hit this link for all posts related to the project.)

Heather Gorham is a Dallas-based artist represented by the Craighead Green Gallery and shows her work across the United States. Unlike many of the project participants, Heather has previous experience with the haptics device and 3D technologies although this is her first use of those technologies in artwork.

How did you get involved with the RAPID Artists project?

I’ve known Nancy Hairston (project founder) and worked with Sculptcad for several years now. When she first had the idea for fine artists to create work using digital sculpting and asked me if I’d like to participate, I jumped at the chance.

Is this your first experience with 3D/digital sculpting technology and tools?

I have been working with 3D digital sculpting for several years now with Sculptcad, working on all sorts of different projects. This is my first real experience with creating my own vision using digital technology.

How have these technologies changed the way you approach your process?

Surprisingly, not so much. Despite the high tech nature I’m approaching this work much like I would in a more traditional medium. For me, it has become another tool in my toolbox. Albeit, a really, really cool one.

Are these digital tools having an effect on the work you are creating? Are the tools aiding/adding to/hindering the process?

So far, working digitally has mostly positive qualities. I think the only frustrating thing is the inability to actually touch, with your own hands, what you are creating. Feeling for imperfections or the perfect curve, getting that tactile feedback from your work.

The positives are the ability to try out different ideas and possibilities with a piece without having to permanently commit. You can test drive so many different ways to solve a problem and see all of your possible outcomes first.

What are your thoughts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project?

I love the SRCA project, after working on projects other than my own, getting to create my own work digitally has been a real pleasure. I can feel that my own relationship to this process has grown and become more personal through working on my own art.  I’ve really embraced it.

Also, seeing other artists being introduced to this whole process and their excitement about it and what they can create. Their excitement has been contagious.

Looking beyond the project, what do you have coming up in the near future art-wise? Do you have any shows or projects planned?

I’m working on a large scale installation piece with about 150 rats, should be fun.

I always have work at the Craighead Green Gallery (in Dallas) with a big group show coming up on March 27th.

How can people interested in your work get in touch with you?

You can see more work or contact me at HeatherGorham.com.

Do you have any final thoughts on the Rapid Artists Project?

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Here is Heather’s prelimary sketch for the project piece:

Technical Specs My piece will be created combining stainless steel and bronze alloy for the body of the hare with the possibility of using a separate material, resin for the exposed internal bone structure. The size is approximately 25” x 15” x 12”.

Statement I wanted to use animal imagery for my sculpture, for me it was a way to insure the relatability of my work while using the digital process. I chose the hare because of the old world, romantic idea of beauty and nature it represents, juxtaposed with this new world, digital way of creation. I’m challenged by the innate sense of conflict this presents. The rabbit’s coat is intertwined and layered with sculptural shapes and text creating an extra layer of narrative within the animal’s fur. I’ve created negative cutouts around the body allowing the viewer to see some of the animal’s internal workings. This study of contrasts, old vs. new, metal to fur, nature and technology, exterior and interior are some of the paradoxes most enticing to me in creating this work.

Head below the fold for images of Heather’s digital work in process:

(All images property of Heather Gorham and are used by permission)

“My process involved treating the digital medium much like I would a traditional media such as clay or wax in bronze casting. Digital clay, once you get used to it,  responds and has many of the same sensibilities as real clay, allowing for an interesting juxtaposition between the visceral and the virtual.”
Heather Gorham

Update 4/16/10 — Hit this link for images of the finished rapid prototype.

1 Comment »

  1. […] four profiles for the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project are now available online: Heather Ezell, Heather Gorham, David W Van Ness and Brad Ford […]

    Pingback by SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project news « SculptCAD — April 8, 2010 @ 8:27 pm


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