John Beaver

Arc-Welded Steel

The Handoff, Steel   77x117x47 


My arc-welded figurative sculpture is representational art in a unique style that has significant meaning and demands a personal response. Rusty scrap metal is used to create visual excitement in works that are abstract in detail but accurately realistic. I find satisfaction in creating beauty and expressing age-old truth with discarded practical objects such as chains, springs, bolts, nails and harness parts; things most people would consider useless worn out junk. They remind us to look for a use for the discarded as well as to not discard the still useful, concepts with many ramifications, not the least of which are environmental. But these scraps are resurrected into forms that are thoughtfully created, accurately proportioned, and visually entertaining from any direction. The high degree of complexity in the structure, the strong drama of the dynamics, and the tension between the materials used and subject matter portrayed reflect the complexity, drama, and tensions of modern life.

The construction is open so the inside is visible from the outside. Interior muscles and bones can be seen, producing an added dimension of significance not present in bronze and clay surface-only figurative sculpture by suggesting, for example, what is inside a person cannot be hid, but will show through to the outside.

I have been creating welded steel sculpture regularly since the early 1970s. I became involved because of an interest in art, generated primarily by my artist wife, Glenda, and my fascination with the arc-welding process, likely related to my academic training in physics. Arc-welding is, after all, an application of the principles of physics. Having now quit university teaching, I am free to pursue sculpture as my primary activity.