Artist Adam Long creates incredible sculptures using natural objects that explore our relationship with nature. Find more of his work by visiting his website.
“Magical.” I often hear that about my unique Forest Figure sculptures. They speak to what it means to be human and connected to the natural world. These sculptures came about when I understood two things about myself—I can’t stop making stuff, and I love natural objects.
My mother knew me well when I was a child. She provided me with a box of junk, glue, scissors, crayons and a lot of time by myself to be creative. I filled my room with all kinds of things, but that room was in a new house in a new subdivision.
I was surrounded by small trees and lots of mowed grass. I didn’t realize I loved nature until I was in college and noticed how the trees had grown. As I was pursuing a degree in art education these two passions—art and nature—came together.
I was working on a small figure sculpture for a class. Having a strong desire to be different than everyone else in the class, I rummaged through my boxes of junk and found pine bark I’d recently collected from my backyard.
I covered the figure with it—the piece was amazing! The resultant “tree-man” sculpture stood out in the class. Jaws dropped and I knew I was onto something special.
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By the standards I follow today, it was incredibly primitive, but I still have the sculpture to remember that initial spark.
Following this artistic path, I quickly realized that no other artist was working the way I wanted to work with natural objects. In addition to learning everything I could about drawing, painting, metalsmithing, stone carving and bronze casting, I also had to develop my own processes and skills in order to create my most unique objects.
Now, decades later, I am still developing new ways of working and creating with the natural objects I gather. I’ve learned which plants produce objects that inspire my creativity and when to harvest them. I’ve developed many skills that I think are unique to my studio.
My Forest Figures are widely collected and have earned many honors for which I am humbled and grateful.
I am always looking for ways to introduce stable, natural color into my works, and ways to speak about humankind’s connection to the natural world. I hope that you find wonder, mystery and a bit of magic in my Forest Figures.
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