Faculty member Jon Isherwood was one of four American stone sculptors chosen to participate in a contemporary art exhibition in China that demonstrates a fusion of traditional carving techniques with technology that is—quite literally—on the cutting edge.
The Digital Stone Exhibition, sponsored by digital design and engineering software firm Autodesk, Inc., opened this fall at the Today Art Museum in Beijing and will tour through museums in Shanghai and Chongqing until January.
Isherwood, with sculptors Bruce Beasley, Robert Michael Smith, and Kenneth Snelson, used Autodesk's 3D modeling technology to form and shape complex images that would eventually serve as blueprints for their larger-scale stone sculptures.
Isherwood contributed 10 pieces to the exhibition, "which are not a series," he says, "but rather distinct responses to what I saw and absorbed" during his travels through China in August 2007.
The creative process of modeling with technology and carving by hand presented an intriguing challenge, said Isherwood.
"I usually begin by modeling my sculptures in clay, and then use digital technology to model and cut the stone…In this project the artistic process began with technology and finished with the hand."
Though he doesn't plan to abandon his more traditional approach, Isherwood said he'll continue to experiment with 3D modeling technology, as his latest pieces "represent new beginnings in the further evolution of my work."
Click to view pictures of the Digital Stone Exhibition.