For Elizabeth Turk, art and sculpture offer a way to converse with the world—both the seen and the unseen. “I like watching currents: a school of fish, a flock of birds, their gentle curve through space,” says Turk, whose work explores how the forces of nature might impact not only migratory patterns and tides, but also brain synapses, thought patterns
Balance, a marble work in two parts from Turk’s recent Cages series.
and ultimately, her art. To express these concepts in a block of marble, Turk chisels away up to 95 percent of the material to reveal the flows that lie hidden within. Although structural collapse is an ever-present danger, Turk looks to the organic for solutions, taking lessons from calcium carbonate structures, which remain strong despite being riddled with holes by microbes. “They have the same gravitational stresses that I have to deal with, and those structures survive,” says Turk, who sees her work less as a narrative and more as a frozen moment that represents many notions. “As a people we’re learning how to use icons,” she says, “so that we can speak to many ideas at once.” elizabethturksculptor.com
WHAT LIES BENEATH
ELIZABETH TURK My work is: Multi-dimensional. I look at everything, try to absorb it, then forget it all and work from intuition.
Why marble? I go back and forth. I have made things with other materials, but I’ve found the challenge of stone to be of particular interest now, because you have to look at what exists and be really honest with it, try to find its essential structural support and then just go for it, isolate it.
Current project: I’ve been messing around with larger-scale pieces; it’s a challenge. They’re more about design, and that’s harder for me to do. I haven’t really worked from an architectural planning sense before, so we’ll see.
Design period you find most engaging: I continually reference Japan’s Edo period. Visually it’s astounding. I like the screens because of the sense of time; experiencing time over a scroll is very different than doing so from a Western perspective. And the craftsmanship is just glorious. LUXE INTERIORS
LUXE California OC Issue 20