Barbara Gilhooly with some of her artworks on a wall behind her

3-D Studio Demo Artist Barbara Gilhooly

Barbara Gilhooly will be in the 3-D Studio demonstrating wire sculpture March 24-25.

Olivia Davies: What will your demonstration at the DAM look like? What can visitors expect?

Barbara Gilhooly: I will be working with wire to create two- and three-dimensional pieces. I use annealed steel wire in various gauges. It's black in color and fairly easy to bend. When you manipulate the wire it becomes work hardened and maintains its shape. I will have examples of finished wire artworks. Some are flat wall drawings with different subject matter—botanicals, abstract patterns, and cityscapes. I will also show some of my three-dimensional wire sculptures which vary in size and are abstract orb shapes.

OD: What are the most important elements in your work?

BG: Line. Drawing is an important aspect of all my work. For me working in wire is much like drawing. My MFA is in printmaking and all my work refers back to that training. Working in line, drawing, and working with tools are all aspects of my intaglio, etching, and woodcut experience.

wire city scene by Barbara Gilhooly
Photo courtesy of the artist.

OD: Can you tell us a little bit about your process?

BG: I bend and shape the forms with my hands using needle nose pliers for sharp bends and for wrapping the ends together. I use a small metal block to hammer the shapes flat and to harden the wire. It’s all worked by hand. I do not use solder or adhesives to join the wire.

OD: I noticed that you work in a wide variety of media. How do these different materials and techniques inform your artistic practice?

BG: I have always worked in multiple mediums. I feel my ideas inform what materials are needed to create the work. I work in two dimensions and three dimensions; each feeds the other conceptually and aesthetically.

wire artwork by Barbara Gilhooly
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Olivia Davies is a studio and artist programs intern in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum.

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