Board Caterpillar, 2003
Recycled wood and steel
6’ (H) x 12’ (W) x 11’ (D)
Christopher Fennell uses locally recycled materials to build site-specific installations across the United States. The artist places recognizable objects into organic forms: like a wave of 60 canoes, a ball of 600 baseball bats or a tornado of 120 bicycles. He grew up in Florida doing construction work, then got an engineering degree from the University of South Florida and went to work forMotorola Inc. in robotics. A job with British Aerospace designing flight simulators in Tampa, Fla., followed, but Fennell said he got bored with using existing components to design things. He wanted to create from scratch. So he went back to school and earned a master of fine arts degree from the University ofGeorgia. One of his professors wanted him to tear down an old barn, which inspired Fennell to build his first colossal sculpture. “I saw the barn falling down, and then the idea came to build a wave,” Fennell said. Using discarded objects to create sculpture has become his theme: a fireball sculpture using decommissioned aluminum fire ladders for a fire station near Dallas, tree sunscreens and leaf inspired benches made from donated used skateboard decks for a skate park in Norfolk or a 63’ long steel guitar using 44 salvaged truck frames at the band shell where Elvis played his first concert in Memphis.Currently he is building twelve nineteen foot tall working weather vanes with animals built in Fennell fashion: a cow from lawn mower blades, a song bird sculpted of birdhouses and a horse made from locally donated bicycles from and for the City of Fort Worth, Texas.
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