Cantos from the Woods
“Your art’s good is to follow nature insofar as it can.”
–Dante's Inferno (Canto XI)
My work leads me into forests to encounter how the fundamental forces of nature act on the figure of wood. Lightning strikes a tree, wind or rain batter it, frost heaves its roots. Ice breaks limbs from trunks, legions of ants leave their calligraphic prints on the soft wood beneath the bark, man and machine wade through…all and alike leaving behind dead wood. Here in the vineyard of creative destruction is the raw material for art of the natural world, where subtle manipulation of the artifacts renders these damaged but beautiful pieces at once works of nature and works of man.
All of my pieces come from much larger sections of trees that are hauled back to my studio for evaluation. It can takes years, in some cases, for their full potential as art to be realized. As that sense forms I begin to trim unwanted parts and shape the wood using traditional hand tools—chisels, mallets and rasps. I do not use finishes other than occasional light waxing on some pieces.
Mr. Flood is a member of the New England Sculptors Association.
Belmont Gallery of Art (MA)
Boston Convention Center
Boston Design Center
Concord Library (MA)
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (NH)
New England Biolabs (MA)
Southern Vermont Arts Center
Turners Falls (MA)