The work of Ilse Bolle, With Open Arms I, in the “13th International Open” show at Woman Made Gallery is a remarkable combination of both mixed media and sculptural work. This piece entices the eye with its clever interplay of traditional, as well as unconventional materials; items such as copper wire, willows, and handmade paper accentuate the solid design comprised of standard linen, reed, and Tamarisk. The form itself presents a welcoming sentiment with flowing/ outstretched appendages that seem to engulf the audience in its warm embrace. The juxtaposition of natural and man-made elements creates an earthy, stable quality, and the curved, organic forms appear fluid– as if the sculpture could move.
This exceptional piece holds significant value as an inspirational and comforting modern figure, while maintaining an ancient aesthetic that captures and releases an emotional reaction from any who gaze upon it. With Open Arms I is a twist on abstract, modern sculpture, one that refreshingly illustrates conviviality.
-Stephanie El Tawil, WMG Intern