The Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild's all-member show, Dimensions In Art, opened Friday evening at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples. Judged by batik artist Muffy Clark Gill, FGCU 2012 art grad Andrew Corke won Best of Show honors for his mixed media piece Tired of Drying.
As the play on words implies, Tired of Drying is made from recycled bicycle tires. "The materials are an important aspect of my work," Corke reveals in his Artist Statement. "By making the works three-dimensional and out of recycled waste, I hope to invoke the feel that these creatures are being reanimated from the trash, reaching out and toward the viewer."
This is precisely the effect Corke accomplishes with dynamic works like Pride in the Leader, which incorporates both bicycle tires and wine bottle corks. This piece portrays a wild-eyed, roaring lion that seems to emerge from its support as if it's being reconstituted before the viewer's very eyes from a bubbling, roiling, multi-colored biological soup.
From across a gallery or room, Corke's process is not readily apparent. It's only when viewers inches closer to examine his works that they discover they incorporate materials otherwise bound for a landfill. To create works like Tired of Drying and Pride in the Leader, Corke first builds a skeleton or superstructure out of wire or foam. Gaps are stuffed with wadded up newspaper, and then Corke begins the painstaking process of crafting each creature's skin through the application of layers of recycled material.
Corke's creative philosophy bears the influence of native Sanibel Island. Growing up next door to Ding Darling, Corke became imbued with a sensibility for issues such as habitat loss, global climate change and over-consumption. Corke also benefits from Captiva icon Robert Rauschenberg, who began making collages in 1952 out of strips of cardboard saved from laundered shirts and whose later combines often included taxidermy specimens.
Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild is the only area organization dedicated solely to ﬁne crafts and 3-dimensional works. The Guild's members combine old world craftsmanship with contemporary techniques to produce unique works of art. Many members are award winners on local, regional and national levels. Since its founding in 1977, the SWFFCG has sought to further its mission of encouraging high standards of performance and accomplishments in ﬁne crafts. Guild members achieve this mission by means of participation, promotions and education through shows, exhibitions, demonstrations and art scholarships.
The Guild's home is located at the Cape Coral Arts Studio, 4533 Coronado Parkway, Cape Coral, Florida 33904, but Dimensions in Art is on view through October 4 at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples. The von Liebig Art Center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays in season. For more information, please call 239-262-6517 or visit http://naplesart.org. For information on the Guild's exhibits and membership, please visit www.swﬂcraftguild.org.