There are moments in life or experiences that completely change the way you see as an artist and that is certainly the case for me. This body of work first took root when my wife and I moved to England, where we lived, traveled and worked for five years. For the first three years, we lived in West Yorkshire, where we rented an old stone cottage located next to a canal lock. Each day we were greeted by the sounds of rushing water making its way through the old locks. I walked the canal path to the studio, enjoying the sights of cows grazing on distant hillsides and watching the kingfishers fly up and down the canal, scooping minnows from the water. The last two years of our stay we lived on a working sheep farm in a newly converted brick barn. The farm was located on the hillside of the Brown Clee, overlooking the Long Mynd Valley. As I walked the hillside, I could almost touch the passing clouds as they moved down the valley, casting their long shadows on the valley floor. In the upper meadows, I could hear the lonely call of the curlew, flying meandering circles as it passed over a sea of grass. In late spring, along with the wooded paths, I was treated to a beautiful carpet of bluebells.
We have been back in Ohio for some time now, and I still take great pleasure in going out for a walk in my own backyard. I enjoy watching the birds flitting about the bird feeder and a new season of plants pushing their way up to reveal their beauty. These sights of changing leaves, long shadows on the valley and migrating birds are the things that I now reflect upon as I attempt to capture their unique quiet beauty within my sculptures. I have been working on this series of sculptures for about 6 years and I never tire of this challenge.
Combining steel and glass has been an interest of mine for numerous years. Though my original inspiration came from urban influences, you will now see the progression of my interest move back and forth between flowers and birds, capturing their images in both materials. All of these images are woven into a tapestry of life, of which I am but an observer.
“As an artist, I try to breathe a new life into the birds I see and the plants I enjoy. I don’t attempt to mimic God’s creation in a realistic style, but rather to capture the beauty in my own unique expression.”
~ Brent Marshall