I came to the art world through my long-time work with my father, the late Rob Fisher. After his death in 2006, I took over the studio, Rob Fisher Sculpture, LLC. With degrees in both the natural sciences (Zoology BS: State University of New York at Oswego, 1996) and design fields (Landscape Architecture, Master’s degree: University of Oregon, 2006), my work reflects my overwhelming interest in the beauty of natural forms and objects, my fascination with industrial imagery, and my excitement at being able to employ high-tech design techniques and materials to render this familiar imagery.
The sculptural elements that make up my artworks are abstract, yet when assembled can be suggestive of birds, flower petals, autumn leaves, water, and clouds and other natural phenomena. Some of my artworks reference industrial imagery, such as energy rising, railroad tracks, music, data bytes, and abstract tile patterns from the Alhambra. They provide a contemporary yet recognizable imagery that people find beautiful, interesting and worth contemplating. More than static objects, these sculptures strike a positive and sometimes inquisitive chord with viewers of all ages, often becoming the signature artwork for the facility.
The materials and technologies used to render concepts like rivers, rain, migrating birds or songs include high-tech computer modeling, custom perforated aluminum, laser cutting, anodizing and powder coating, polished ball chain, and specialized stainless steel hardware and structural members. This contrast, in which narrative natural and industrial forms are rendered in construction materials with new technologies from the design field, creates an abstract edge to the artworks that opens them to other interpretations. For me, the natural sciences and industrial imagery have merged with art.
Although the assembled artworks are powerful objects visually, the individual sculptural elements, cut out of perforated aluminum, are transparent and very lightweight. I discovered to my delight, that Moiré patterns are seen when the elements with their many holes overlap as one walks around them, giving the illusion of movement. The material can be powder coated any of hundreds of colors or anodized in metallic finishes of gold, silver, copper and bronze.
All my sculptures are site-specific, created with consideration of the space, with concepts that reflect the interests of the inhabitants, and with acknowledgment of the use of the building that hosts them.
The process of bringing an artwork to fruition is an exciting endeavor. After creating the artwork, I must deal with planning the length of time it will take to install a work, hiring art installation crews, complying with security requirements and badging when necessary, and working with structural engineers and contractors. Providing accurate computer renderings, point of suspension plans, fabrication specifications, purchasing appropriate and safe suspension hardware and cable, selecting aerial lifts, dealing with sprinkler systems and lighting placement in the layout plan, and crating and shipping are all tasks an artist must complete when working on a project. These many important items are rarely mentioned as a significant part of the work of an artist providing suspended sculpture to public spaces, and should be called out a part of the extensive process undertaken by artists.
Finally, during the process of creating any artwork, I find one of the most personally gratifying steps is the collaboration with various team members, from architects, engineers, contractors and designers to installation crews, art committees and clients. These collaborations lead to imaginative explorations and the creation of a dynamic site-specific artwork, one that insures both a safe and aesthetic installation before I turn over my creation to its new owner.