Erin Cunningham, Texas Sculpture Group

From Austin, Texas

Artist Statement:

I work with cast metal to graph and embellish isolated details of the female form. Mapping contortions and sections of flesh, I become my own cartographer. I create landscapes that are freed from habituated social perceptions and shift the experience of a body from an external gaze to one of a more intimate investigation of the surface.  

I have an affinity for cast iron because it communicates the powerful dualities of masculine and feminine, disposable and precious, fragile and strong.  It has a long history as an industrial material, but at the same time, it possesses visual aesthetics that help to elevate its status when used as a sculptural medium. 

"This piece is a collaboration between myself and Sarah Hirneisen (TSG member).  It was part of a show we did called ""Navigation Instrument.""

It's part of a series based on the mystical tools of diving rods.  We reimagined their constructions as rudimentary instruments to navigate the unknown and guide us towards solutions.  In this particular piece, the cast plaster branch is a traditional divining rod, and attached to the end is a delicate sterling silver recreation of a plumb bob, a tool used to set a fixed point."

Artist Biography:

Erin Cunningham (b. 1979 Honolulu, HI) is an artist living and working in Austin, Texas. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003 and an MFA in studio art from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007. Her work utilizes material combinations, such as cast metals and the female figure to explore dualities of masculine and feminine, disposable and precious, fragility and strength with a focus on sculpture. She has shown nationally and internationally, including The Metropolitan Art Museum in Tokyo and at Mönchskirche Salzwedel, in Salzwedel, Germany. Artist residencies including BAER Art Center in Hofsos, Iceland, and Atelierhaus Residency Hilmsen in Hilmsen, Germany. Cunningham is one of the founding members of the ICOSA Collective, an artist-run exhibition space in Austin, TX. She currently holds a position as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.