Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Momentum Artist: Morgan McBratney

Morgan McBratney, Tulsa
Wood Furniture

Q: What was your concept(s) behind your work(s)?

MM: Xylo was an experiment for me to create a chair that was not only extremely comfortable, but also a form that truly makes the viewer question the normal views of what a chair should look like. The material choice of plywood was the first achievement of the latter. Very rarely does someone look at the edge of a piece of plywood and see the beauty of what the lines could create. Secondly, by removing traditional chair legs in lieu of the interlocking two planes, I feel, helps establish a fantastic harmony and character to the chair. It seems to me that it could almost start walking away if the right kind of Disney magic were sprinkled on it. It's really a fun form.

Q: Explain the technique and/or process you used for the piece(s).

MM: I decided to make this piece as simple as possible to create, while maintaining an intensely complex form. Plywood became the perfect material to accomplish my goal. I created the chair in 3D on the computer. I then sliced it into 3/4" sections and laid each profile out onto one sheet of material. Utilizing a CNC router to ensure that every profile section was identical, I cut every part out along with hundreds of small dowel holes. Once all the parts were cut, I glued and stacked every part together along with inserting into every drilled hole a dowel rod to significantly increase the chair's strength. Beyond that, it was a LOT of hand sanding, sculpting and elbow grease to get it ready for the finish, which is three coats of an incredibly dense catalyzed lacquer.

Momentum Tulsa 2009 includes visual art by artists aged 30 and younger. The exhibition is free and open at Living Arts, 307 E Brady, Tulsa, until October 24. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday 1-5 pm, until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday.

Curators Scott Perkins & Frank Wick selected 93 artworks by 66 artists from all over the state for the exhibition. Also, three Spotlight artists created bodies of work on display, Nick Bayer, Dustin Boise, and Emily Kern. Intern Ashley Romano interviewed the artists to learn about their creative process. Watch for more profiles throughout the run of the exhibition.

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