Fractal Sea, 2013
From a sheet of mild steel, I carve a roiling sea. With each iteration, I create more layers, more levels. I pull some forward and push some back. I think of Hokusai’s Great Wave and the clouds in old Chinese paintings. I etch graceful intersecting curves, like orchid leaves. I think of geometry and engineering. I roll the sea, like a roll of carpet, to separate the layers and to make each curl start to take its own identity. I think of pop-up books, paper dolls and Chinese paper cutting. I think of lace and coral reefs and fractal patterns. I lay the sea out on the floor. I prop it against the wall. I pair it with text. I manipulate it and photograph it. Filling my studio, Fractal Sea becomes a transformative wave of change in my life, bringing new relationships and opportunities, changing my course.
Fractal Sea, created in January 2013, carved from a single large piece of steel, marked a shift in scale and subject matter in Greene’s work. Fractal Sea is the first of Greene’s larger scale works in steel. It is also the first in a long, ongoing series of steel meditations on oceans and waterways, a body of work which includes Sailor’s Warning, Conversation over the Fjords, Tide Tables, Underwater, River, Riptide, Reef and Eelgrass Dancing as well as Greene’s work as 2015 Glacier National Park Artist in Residence.
These water-inspired works are shaped by Greene’s memories and reflections about living on the coast in California and Rhode Island, exploring the ocean, coves, streams, rivers and other bodies of water there and around the country. They are about energy, beauty, and life, about economic and environmental change. They are about danger and disaster, drowning and near drowning, about hope, resilience and recovery.
Fractal Sea has appeared in Forbes China, The Economist, the Improper Bostonian and other press. Fractal Sea has been exhibited in Boston area galleries and is currently on view at Studio 48.
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