“My goal is to create a harmonious relationship between nature and artifact. By combining these two conflicting factors, we can remove nature (living organic matter) and non-natural boundaries.”

Moku-renma - Wood 10 x 7 x 8 m

Japanese sculptor, IHARA was born in 1943 and has been awarded at the Nika exhibit (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum) every year between 1967-74. In 1976 he became an Honorary Member of Japan Flower Arrangement Foundation. In 1986 he built a sculpture at Misawa Gate Riverside Park in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture and in 1989 3 of his sculptures were built on the main street of Kagawa Bridge station in Hyogo ken. Ihara’s has been commissioned numerous public sculptures in Japan as well as in the USA where he has exhibited many times and received awards.

1957 Former professor of Tenpo Misho-ryukado
School(Japanese traditional art)
1967-74 He is awarded the Nika exhibition (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum) every year.
1973 (The Imperial Highness Princess Takamatsu of the Imperial Family) Appointed as a special member of the Japan Ikebana Art Association
1980 Jodo Buddhism Seizan Zenrinji Buddhism Academy(Obtained
qualifications as a solemn teacher, a cloth teacher and a cultural member)
1967-74 He is awarded the Nika exhibition (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum) every year.
1972 Hyogo Prefectural Contemporary Art Museum Award Winner Awarded Tokyo Art Museum Special Award.
1973 Japan Flower Arrangement Special Member . 
1989 Three sculptures were built on the main street of Kagawa Bridge station in Hyogo ken.
1991 I built a sculpture of Sho-en Sculpture Center 10 in San Diego, California.
1992 The artwork was nominated for the exhibition and won the French Maubeugeu City Art Contest.
1995 Lithuania World Sculpture Symposium. One of the sculptures exhibited permanently at the European Central Art Museum in Lithuania.
1996 I built a sculpture in Nakao Park in Akashi City Hyogo Prefecture.
1998 I built three sculptures (permanent collection) in the Skokie North Shore Sculpture Park in Chicago. the year of 2000
2001 Traveling Exhibition II "Tree of Origin" at the entrance of Center for horticulture in Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture.
Exhibition at Takashimaya Kyoto department store in Kyoto.
Traveling Exhibition "Tree of Origin" at the entrance of Osaka Museum of History, and Japan Broadcasting Cooperation, Osaka station (NHK) in Osaka.
2005 Erected 12 Sculptures of Soul Object in Okura Akashi Coast in Hyogo Prefecture.
2006 Erected a Sculpture in Kakogawa Kanno Park in Hyogo Prefecture.
2007 I built sculptures at Himeji Awa Park in Hyogo Prefecture .
2019 Moku-Renma(kigumi)was selected for an Honorable Mention Award.

En-en 2 - Wood 10 x 50 x 2 m
En-gi - Wood 8 x 18 x 4.5 m
Moku-renma - Wood 10 x 7 x 8 m
En-en - Wood 10 x 50 x 2 m

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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Harald Weber

"I like the nice feeling of discovering pleasing forms in the seemingly worthless, used, from everyday life and nature in order to explore a possible artistic use in advance. It is important: natural patina - the protective layer to counter the transitory - helps me to create my works."

Out Of Round Thing (Unrunde Sache) - Mixed media wall assemblage

German artist, Harald Weber received professional training in metal and wood processing (1975-82), was engaged with photography, and studied interior architecture (1986-91) with a focus on design, illustration methods, illustration, painting, and architectural photography.

Weber worked freelance as a digital and photo artist, draftsman, illustrator, interior designer, designer (1992-2012) and has been working as an independent artist since 2011. Today he lives and works in Neu-Anspach, Germany.

Patina Assamblagen - The protective layer to counter the transitory

"Some things protect themselves like plants plant their fruits with a layer of skin (onion) or tree bark. Even metals get a protective layer of rust and patina. The aesthetics of the resulting colors, textures and structures of the surfaces inspire me to create my patina assemblages.

For the composition, I take found formal aesthetics from the everyday. The nice feeling of discovering pleasing forms in the seemingly worthless (throw-away items, etc.), exploring a possible artistic use in advance.

The line plays an original role in this. It consists of an infinite number of points, divides and delimits surfaces and shapes as a simple element. The resulting structural architecture has to be studied, recorded and integrated into the composition.

Trusting in revealing a natural canon of forms and choosing exciting sections with my inner eye, I draw, paint, create and clock my assemblages with everything that is available to me artistically.

Why patina assemblages?

"Not everything we throw away is useless, not everything we consider worth is valuable. With artistic means and aesthetics, I create attention and awareness for the apparently self-evident things of our life. Especially used or used - if only one thing - can tell us a lot about it itself or the people who breathed life into it, used it. Resources are not available indefinitely. We draw a lot from nature, use and transform it, create new products that we can only."

Light As A Feather (Federleichte Wirkung) - Mixed media wall assemblage
Workpiece 6570 (Werk 6570) - Mixed media wall assemblage
Crooked Thing Turned (Krummes Ding Gedreht) - Mixed media wall assemblage
Workpiece 6582 (Werk 6582) - Mixed media wall assemblage

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Helga Palasser

"Art is food for our souls. I am trying to make my very personal perception visible through my art language."

BETWEEN - Clay burnt with bark 60 x 60 x12 cm

Helga Palasser is a trained sculptor from Austria who gained her diverse working experience especially by traveling to different places around the world like California, Nepal, Zimbabwe, and several European countries. One of her specialties is modelling portraits out of clay giving them a unique liveliness and familiarity that goes far beyond mere depiction. Besides this realistic approach, a strong impetus towards abstract forms characterizes her work although there is always a concrete experience in which these forms are grounded. In her recent work, Palasser focusses on the subject of interculturality and connects the process of artistic production with intercultural exchange. Her latest work in this respect was exhibited at Venice ART Biennale “Personal Structures” 2019.

Helga’s work is characterized by figurative motifs as well as abstract forms. The heavy compact material of clay is transformed into light fine shapes that could occasionally give the impression of drawings when looked at from the distance. When looked at closer, the corporal aspect of weight imposes itself without diminishing the lightness of the forms, however. 

BUTTERFLY - Clay with blue pigment 38 x 27 x 14 cm
THIRD SPACES: The Bridge to the Other is Imagination - Clay installation 230 x 210 x 15 cm
Desert Rose - Clay burnt 35 x 35 x 21 cm
FLOW of WAVES - Clay installation120 x 80 x 12 cm

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Born in: 1996, South Korea

Lives in: Seoul, Korea

Media: Textile Arts

Describe your work in 3 words: Structural, Experimental, time

See More Work:  Instagram: Jingleing_art

Piece Together - Fabric yarn, Wool, Felt, Acrylic yarn, Bolts, Nuts 220 x 160 x 15 cm

"When making art pieces, I pick materials not only by considering the suitability of theme but also by agonizing with hours of experiments and research. Moreover, I think of ways that could lead the pieces to take up space rather than remaining flat. I tried to add the concept of solidity in the established flat surface of tapestry, so that I could emphasize ‘Objective Effect’."

What themes does your work involve?
I compared the completeness of the day and the period to a puzzle using formative elements. I expressed the psychological comfort and relief that I feel on my way home from my busy life and abstract and structured formative constructs. I tried to make a completed structure as one piece of peace was compared to my ‘day’ and my shape was matched like a puzzle and this gathered. Different shapes and sizes showed that each day is always different and new. After the primary tapestry work, the tapestry of the architectural structure was completed by adding 3 dimensional and linear elements using the off-loom coiling technique. It showed design and structural forms by giving different heights and three-dimensionality of all the different color planes due to the volume and texture of the thread.
Describe your creative process.
In 'Piece Together,' we produced a result that can go beyond a flat work through basic molding elements such as lines and faces to three dimensions. By substituting various colors and expressing the contrast between colors, we created an idea sketch to show the color and a texture sample to show the three-dimensional effect, and specifically composed the details of the work. The motif of the night view taken on the way home is expressed in various colors and abstract forms. In order to record these moments as a work, abstract work was performed using geometric shapes after photographing. I think that the planning and sampling I made before entering the work are also important processes, and it is the beginning of the work from this moment.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
It’s hard to deny that the difficult part of making artwork is to aim at an in-depth approach and analyze ‘The relationship between Textile’s Formativeness and Intention of the Expression’ based on research and experiment of multilateral material rather than focusing only on technique. Analyzing the ‘Diverse possibility of material expression’ and ‘What can be the most efficient way to express intended meaning in pieces’ in terms of diverse perspectives is becoming the new paradigm. It’s never easy to make artwork, but if the plans for my art progress following my own extent, it is relatively convenient to make the outgrowth. And I think the ultimate output when I finish my artwork is feeling the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction particularly based on ‘Agony' and 'Attempt'.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?

Recently, the tendency of art is mixed genres and ambiguous division. Following ‘Post-modernism’, the current art field is denying standardized and rigid structure, and trying to reach new styles different from the old paradigm. Moreover, attempts to ‘Decategorization’ and ‘Getting out from the textural interpretation of scriptures’ are increasing, which leads to experimental attempts with a variety of materials in different perspectives. This shows that ‘Fusion Art’ is the rising star in the modern society of art.

I think that it is important to become the opportunity for new possibilities of beauty and the soul of plastic experimentalists regardless of particularly structured genres. Therefore, these attempts ultimately led us to step up for the field of ‘Total Art’ and then 'Good Art'.

What is the role of the artist today?
I would like to be an artist who communicates my thoughts and beliefs with the world through my own artistic sense. I strongly believe that the most prestigious factor to appeal one’s own pieces are to attach new media and methods that change the paradigm of fixed thoughts and expression in art. For example, understanding customary acts or connotative meaning in culture would be ‘new’ to those who are not from this own country nor living on this earth. Because for those who are not used to that particular atmosphere or hard to understand that particular context, the approach to understanding this particular theme would be interpreted as ‘New attempt’ or ‘Challenge’, which would lead to higher engagement in art pieces.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

Jesse A. Nusbaum

"I strive to replicate the actual subject. Utilizing micro-detail encourages a more intimate, close-up interaction. I want my viewers to feel like they experienced a face-to-face encounter with the actual animal."

BLACK PANTHER - Clay form-will be bronzed after castings are finished soon 7 x 6 x 22 in.

Growing up in Connecticut as a gifted athlete, most people knew about Jesse Nusbaum’s athletic prowess but not his artistic talents. Nusbaum was an All-State baseball player and recruited by many colleges to play baseball. He attended Muhlenberg College as a political science major, intending to become a lawyer, but after briefly attending law school, chose to pursue his passion as an artist. He received a B.A. in Fine Art's from Muhlenberg in 2013.

At just 30 years of age, Mr. Nusbaum has received multiple awards and accolades for his art, specializing in sculpting bronze animals. In 2017, he was selected as one of the youngest artists inducted into the Silvermine Guild of Artists. In 2019, he was selected as a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. He has been featured in Contemporary Art Curator Magazine’s "100 Artists of the Future," World Wide Art Books’ "Important World Artists", and "International Contemporary Masters." At the age of 28, he was nominated by Connecticut Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, which recognizes 40 high achievers under 40 years of age in multiple walks of life—from professional athletes, politicians, writers, and others who have made their mark in the State of Connecticut.

Nusbaum has been showcased three times at Art Basel in Miami. In 2018, his work was on display at the prestigious Red Dot Miami venue at Art Basel, where he and his gallery, Zenith Art and Fashion, were honored with multiple awards. 

Recently, Nusbaum was selected to be published in Marquis’ “Who’s Who in America,” The 2020 Edition. Soon after, Nusbaum was selected to MorningStar’s “Top 101 Professionals of 2020.”

Notably, two of Mr. Nusbaum’s Husky busts (the mascot of the University of Connecticut) were presented to the Women’s Head Coach and the Men’s Head Coach in 2014, in honor of their twin national basketball championships.

Nusbaum has sold many of his sculptures to private collectors in the United States and internationally.

BRONZE GERMAN SHEPHERD - 100% Hot Cast Bronze 17 x 17 x 18 in.
BRONZE SPANISH FIGHTING BULL - 100% Hot Cast Bronze 21 x 30 x 19 in.
BRONZE AFRICAN RHINO - 100% Hot Cast Bronze 6 x 5 x 8 in.
BRONZE AMERICAN BEAR - 100% Hot Cast Bronze 11 x 13 x 21 in.

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Tobbe Malm

“Everything I see and what I experience
Everything I hear, feel and touch
Even memories
I think a lot about what is happening in the world. The process in the workshop is like a channel for my thoughts, and I work without structure and have sketchpads laying around everywhere. I work intuitively and physically. I use my whole body, bend the iron and weld it together. I like to be fully present in my work.”

The Iron Roses, Memorial after July 22nd 2011 terror attack - 1000 iron roses

Tobbe Malm’s artistry draws its strength from his own emotions and his fondness for storytelling. The attentive artist combines reflections on the time we are living in with expressions from growing up in the mining industry’s Norberg in Sweden. He creates unique art that invites to curiosity and wonder.

Malm makes art for the private market and public arenas. He is happy to take on assignments.

Tobbe maintains his workshop at Bærums Verk, outside Oslo. Bærums Verk is old ironworks where the houses are now workshops, shops and galleries. He is also co-owner of Gallery SOOT.

Death comes to life - Forged iron and copper 220 x 50 x 30 cm
Jougdabergsfolket: “Symbiosis" - Forged iron and welded texture 120 x 20 x 15 cm
Jougdabergsfolket: "Challenged III" - Forged iron and welded texture 45 x 50 x 20 cm
Jougdabergsfolket: "Challenged" - Forged iron and welded texture 80 x 25 x 20 cm

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Gerhard Petzl

"My artworks are a crossover of different styles, shapes and media but influenced by nature, different cultures and continents. My style can be described as abstract, elegant and timeless. As I have lived on 4 continents, I am the personification of a globalized human being."

The Chocolate Table, Hong Kong Project - 5 x 1,2 x 1,2 m

Born in Austria and currently living in Switzerland, Gerhard Petzl is a trained Master Pastry Chef and Master Chocolatier for 25 years now. In 2003 he decided to study Art and Design and completed a Master's.

"Afterwards, I continued my search for sculptural expressions successfully, mainly in chocolate with projects in New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Vienna and other cities and was even awarded 'Master Chocolatier of the Year' in 2017 in NY, USA. Crazy projects like the "World's tallest Chocolate Santa", a 5m long table with more than 2,500 single pieces assembled, or even a whole room made out of chocolate with a lifesized human, a desk, a sofa, a table and all in all more than 1500kg chocolate used."

Over the last years, Petzl has worked more with bronze sculpture, timelapse video and created many designs for products. He is the founder of "Chocolate Crystals Art" and 'ARTdesign-naturally grown' which uses chocolate crystal templates as design elements for artworks, furniture and lifestyle products.

"Speaking of my sculptures, they reflect a kind of eternity and timelessness and seem to be familiar but on the other hand maybe strange and mystical. Sometimes a mixture of ancient high culture style and modern expressionism."

Potpourri of Chocolate Body paintings
2 Side tables with naturally grown "Chocolate Crystals design" - Wood with metal stands
The Universe, Chocolate Installation - 3,2 x 1,8 x 1, 7 m
Potpourri of Bronze sculptures

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Todd Jones

"Exploring the serendipitous phenomena from the processes of painting, I recycle mistinted house paint into sculptural skins. These skins are rolled up, taking on the forms of fungi or flowers and are superimposed on three-dimensional forms derived from natural elements."

Polypore - Mistint house paint on a found log, 42 x 23 x 3 in.

Todd Jones was born in Tallahassee, FL and is currently based in Ohio. As an experimental artist, Todd explores the boundaries between contemporary painting and sculpture.

Todd received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a double major in studio art and psychology from Florida State University. He is currently living and working in Athens, Ohio and is an MFA candidate in Painting + Drawing at Ohio University. Todd has been an artist-in-residence at Studio 209 in Thomasville, GA and attended the Summer Painting and Sculpture Intensive at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. He has had solo shows at Wild Goose Creative and the City Center Gallery at the Urban Arts Space in Columbus, OH.

Terana Caerulea - House paint, spray foam, and hard cloth, 83 x 34 x 28 in.
Acrylichen - House paint and found log, 15 x 12 x 9 in.
Daldinia - House paint, spray foam, and chicken wire, 38 x 25 x 14 in.
In Full Bloom - House paint, hard cloth, and hot glue, 20 x 12 x 16 in.

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Liliana Stafford

Born in: 1950, England

Lives in: Fremantle, Western Australia

Media: Painting, Sculpture, Installation, Collage, Drawing, Textile Arts

Describe your work in 3 words: Energy, nature, line.

See More Work:  www.lilianastafford.com

In the Wind - Mixed media 12 x 130 x 60 cm

Liliana Stafford’s work is inspired by seen and unseen world’s colliding, referencing simultaneously the natural world and layered human relations. She is fascinated by the unseen manifested physical: an invisible wind moving a visible leaf. Through her use of abstract acrylics and wired sculptures, these messages are hummed with reveled abandonment.

What themes does your work involve?
In my work, I am constantly striving to show how we are connected both to each other and to the natural world. I weave shapes with wire, paper, silk, wood and stones. They are feminine energy made manifest, guided by a strong inner connection to my body and the natural world. I sense an energy in my hands and am guided as to what they wish to create. My mostly ink drawings on paper are done with my non-dominant hand, sometimes with my eyes closed. It is all about making the connection and bringing what is there to life. "Nature cannot speak for itself so we must find a way to do so."
Describe your creative process.
The work comes out of long walks in a natural wetland near my home. I often bring home from my walks, sticks, leaves, seeds and images to use later in the studio. Other work arrives in that morning time between sleep and waking. I 'see' a small image of the finished piece and then have to work backwards as to how to make it. In the process I allow the piece to change and grow or connect to other pieces hanging in my studio. Time in the studio is a small part of the overall process..
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I make art because I must. Without the creative process manifest in my life, I would be empty, unable to cope with the cruelty and greed of our modern world. Art and writing for me are the way forward. My way to make sense of the world around me.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I love to experience art that has 'weight'. The kind of art that touches the feelings and wakes you up. I once visited the Tate Gallery and stood in a room full of paintings by Cy Twombly. I stood in the middle of that room and cried. I carried those paintings with me throughout our trip to the UK. Good art comes from a very deep place few of us access. I want to go there.
What is the role of the artist today?
You are not made into an artist, you are born with a sensitivity to the world that needs to be expressed. Artists are like the canaries in a mine. They see the danger before it arrives. They sound the alarm. They celebrate the beautiful and expose the bad. They are essential parts of a well-balanced society. Without art in all it's forms life would be incredibly dull bad policies would go unchallenged. We shake things up.

This page was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

Eden Bender

Born in: Toronto, Canada

Lives in: Toronto, Canada

Media: Sculpture, Installation, Mixed media, Ceramics

Describe your work in 3 words: Inspirational, evocative, sarcastic

See More Work:  Gardiner Museum or Muse Gallery

Lost - Ceramics 18 x 16 x 22 in.

One of Eden’s objectives is to express or evoke the human spirit and to further explore the media, which helps best relay these emotions. Another predominant theme in her work is to convey complex human emotions through simplistic imagery and forms.

What themes does your work involve?
Human relationships, overcoming adversity, and resiliency.
Describe your creative process.
My works are first derived from a concept and then I move straight to production.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Everyday challenges and prevalent community issues are what influence me. I have always created to release stress and maintain my sanity.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I believe good art should move you one way or another. Art that challenges our preconceived notions, depicts a sense or idea that we can relate to.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of art today varies depending on the artist. I believe my work is often about human rights and protecting them.

This page was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist