Written by llyn strong
I’m a fan of and believer in angels. Because my mom, Alice, collected angels, they’ve always been special to me. Now an angel has come to reside at llyn strong Fine Art Jewelry in the form of a hanging sculpture by London-born and now San Francisco-based artist Michael Gard. Michael’s sculptures are created using a wire weaving technique. Each figure begins as a block of clay, which Michael sculpts, and which in turn is reproduced in wax. Then comes the painstaking process of weaving lengths of wire, which are knotted at each wire juncture, around the wax form. Finally, the wax is melted away, leaving a rigid figure that is lightweight but strong. For over 10 years, Michael has used colored enamel wires and incorporated LED lights in some of his works.
Michael doesn’t think of his winged sculptures as angels. His inspiration for these pieces comes from the Apsaras, celestial female singers and dancers who inhabit the realm of the god Indra, lord of the heavens. Providing sensual pleasure for both gods and men, apsaras have been exquisitely depicted in sculpture and painting in India, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia, influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism. This isn’t the first time that one of Michael’s winged figures has come to stay in Greenville. I’d been acquainted with Michael’s work from a Baltimore American Crafts Council show quite a while ago. In 2014 I ordered some sculptural figures from him for my home. He came personally to install these and showed me a short video of a 13-foot-high winged female figure, weighing only 15 pounds, that he’d created in 2013 for a competition in Michigan. Titled “Lift”, the sculpture was displayed suspended from a helium balloon.
My immediate thought was that Greenville should own a piece of public art created by Michael. I introduced him and his video to Megan Riegel, CEO of the Peace Center. In November of 2014 Michael assembled and suspended the graceful Lift sculpture, with its 1,000 LED lights, above the lobby in the Center. Originally a short-term rental, thanks to an anonymous donor the sculpture, now called “Arabella”, greets visitors from her permanent home.
Please come by llyn strong Fine Art Jewelry to see our winged figure/angel by Michael Gard as well as view some fabulous jewelry inspired by those heavenly hosts.
The newest angel in our collection is one of the icons in our “Iconic Greenville Sphere” pendant or clasp That represents the “Arabella” sculpture in the Peace Center. Find the pendants and clasps at my store in Midtown Greenville or online by clicking the button below.
Find the Peace Center’s Announcement about “Arabella” here.
Also, you can view a gallery of Michael’s work at michaelgard.com.