Bill McBride, Sculptor

I make sculpture from common objects discovered around me in Matfield Green, Kansas – tall grass prairie, railroad, village of 68 people. As I work on our forty acres of prairie and manage the studio I muse about the objects I encounter - branch, stone, wire fence, bone, wooden post, metal remnants, old map. Each has a story to tell about the land and our journey in an evolving universe.

I harvest, process, store, and live with these materials. In the studio I explore relationships between of different objects (visual resonance, structural character, evocative power) and my own story (perceptions, feelings, memories). Form and metaphor emerge through dialogue between creative forces– living materials and sculptor.

Connecting dissimilar things is a challenge resolved by simple attachments rendered with hand tools. The discipline of handcrafting local materials gives me a deep sense of “humanness” and kinship with the artists who encountered the earth and made sculpture over the last 30,000 years.

My work is Earth Art. It is of and about the earth – humans and nature.

I work in the prairie (burning, making paths, removing invasive species) and make sculptures inviting people to connect both to the earth and to each other. This work includes stone fire rings, enclosures of interwoven branches, transformation of ruined cattle pens, and a stone bridge.

I work in the studio making smaller sculpture for interior spaces and more individual contemplation. I view this work as poetic and metaphorical sketches expressing a dimension of our existence as one with nature.

Working on the land and making sculpture connects me physically and spiritually to the earth and people around me. I found my way to Matfield Green, work on the land, and make sculpture for my own salvation in a time of environmental decline.

But, more importantly, I work to create new awareness of the relation between humans and nature – a perception essential for a more sustainable future.