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Radial Symmetries

This work revolves around the Pentaradial symmetry of a Sea Urchin shell. Pentaradial being a five sectioned symmetry found in nature that revolves around a central point. The simplest example being the Starfish and its five legs. Alanna Baird has been exploring this patterning through several different mediums and dimensions. The printmaking is often her initial exploration in surface patterns.

Thanks to funding through ArtsNB, I was able to create a body of work in lost wax cast bronze. Using some of my own ceramic work from the 1990’s as forms, I cast wax into these shapes and then altered the wax by cutting holes; exploring the symmetry as well as the strength of this new-to-me material. The bronze was cast in a foundry in Quebec, but the chasing (grinding of sprues and polishing of surface metal) and patination (colour) completed in Alanna’s studio.

The Calligraphic sculpture in plastic represents a second ArtsNB grant funded project. The initial intent was to use 3D printing to change the scale of my work. Computer design is not something I enjoy, the hands on fabrication of things is what I love. I became fascinated with a hand held 3D pen, and the clear plastic it could extrude. Light and air flowing through this new body of work, shadows cast. Although the plastic in the exhibition is too fragile to sell, I intend to work farther in this technique.

I am inspired by what I find on my daily walks on the sea floor, the inter tidal zone of the Bay of Fundy reveals it’s treasure to me. Treasure to me is not gold coins, but rather glimpses of things that catch my eye. Part historical – pipe stems, china shards, even stone weapons of a very early age, and part natural environment – resident as well as invasive species included. Often fragments, shells with their interiors exposed, sea urchin shell pieces which reveal the complexity of their “construction”.

I am a materials based artist. I enjoy exploring the material I have to work with. Mastering techniques, learning how to work with it, what it’s limits are, figuring out what I can do with it. I often work with recycled materials. Invasive species like the Lionfish have entered my view. I am currently working on a printmaking project involving the Golden Star Tunicate, an invasive species along this coastline. – Alanna Baird

Curated by Brigitte Clavette and Jennifer Stead.

Alanna Baird in her studio holding plastic calligraphy

Meet Alanna

Saturday, April 16, 2-4 pm at the Gallery


February 5, 2022
April 16, 2022
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