Resilient Generations

Chavenelle_Resilient Generations

Artist: Gail Chavenelle

City/State: Dubuque, IA

About the Work and the Artist: Intrigued by childhood paper dolls, pop-up books and greeting cards, Gail Chavenelle has always been fascinated by sculptural paper works but felt drawn to create works that were more permanent.  Much like one would work with a sheet of paper, she works starts with flat sheets of steel, cutting out forms that are than twisted, curled, bent and shaped to create a 3-dimensional work of art. Many of the designs are one piece. For 20 years, Gail has worked in this method, using 22-gauge sheet steel up to 1/4 inch thick materials for larger sculptures.  Gail’s sculptures tend to represent stylized human and animal figures. 

As her sculptures are minimal in specific features, they are typically read as representing the human race, ageless, and gender neutral. The fluid nature of the lines and forms of her work seek to human connection and relationships of love and embrace. 

Resilient Generations speaks thru design. In its very construction, Resilient Generations addresses the necessity of conservation and the importance of no waste. This sculpture begins as an 8 foot tall sheet metal plate. All elements- the positive, negative and line are used. There is literally no waste. In Resilient Generations, the sculptural generations visually and literally conserve to sustain resilience and the future.

To sustain resilience, generations must all resolve and work together.  Each generation is represented. Past generations are indicted by the largest cut out shape. Generations past are negative - no longer with us. However, as in the sculpture, they literally provide the framework and support of current generations. The present generations are positive forms. The adult is directly cut from the ancestor. The child, as in life, comes from the adult.  No generation in Resilient Generations, or life, can stand alone. Each holds and reinforces the other. The future is indicated by the line - undeveloped figure not yet filled out or completely emerged from the present adult. We get a glimpse of the future. The flat elements bend to become a 3D sculpture view-able from all sides.

Materials: Powder coated plate steel

Dimensions: 

Purchase Price: $8,500