Sawyer Rose is a sculpture, installation, and social practice artist. Born and raised in North Carolina and a graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts, she currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Throughout her career, Sawyer has used her artwork to shine a spotlight on contemporary social and ecological issues. The Carrying Stones Project addresses women’s work inequity and her metalwork sculptures explore the ways living things adapt to changing environments. Her work has been exhibited widely across the US.
Sawyer has been a resident artist at MASS MoCA, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale Foundation, and The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland. She has been awarded merit grants from The Creative Capacity Fund, The Awesome Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center.
Sawyer is the President of the Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art, and formerly served on the Board of Directors of Oakland Art Murmur, Oakland, CA.
Women's Work : The Carrying Stones Project www.carrying-stones.com
The Carrying Stones Project is an ongoing series of sculpture, data visualization, and social practice works that explores the inequities surrounding women’s paid and unpaid labor.
Cooking, cleaning, childcare and eldercare responsibilities often still default to women, keeping them from advancing at work and in society. Even community volunteerism—care-taking of the larger community—falls disproportionately on women. This project documents the physical, emotional, and practical effects of these imbalanced burdens.
The inequalities that working women face are both systemic and pervasive, and those biases affect individual women differently. As such, the concepts for the Carrying Stones works are distilled from the personal narratives of women of diverse ages, ethnicities, working roles, and socio-economic statuses.
Environmental : Seeds of the Monoliths
The sculptural forms from the Seeds of the Monoliths series are clad in layers of silver solder and copper, as if their delicate bodies are growing the armor they need to flourish in the environment humans are leaving for them. Using the texture of the metal as my primary mark-making medium, the liquefied silver morphs into bark, or feathers, or scales.
I begin by covering the sculpture armature with copper foil. Next, I lay down the first layer of texture in silver solder-- like painting with molten metal. I add dimension to the work by placing beads of solder to create depth and contrast. Sometimes, I also cut forms from copper and then solder them to the main structure. The pieces are covered with a rich black patina, and burnished with steel wool to bring out shining highlights on the raised peaks, while leaving dark in the valleys.