Bill Wentworth is a metal sculptor from Poulsbo, Washington who specializes in abstract, organic, botanical flights of fantasy. “Cosmic Sail” literally came to him in a dream. After he woke, he knew he had to make it real. The thrust of the rusted Corten steel base from the ground to the reflective sail is the visual companion to a musical crescendo, bursting into the force of wind. The wind, while being invisible, is evident. It is formed so you can feel the force of nature rooted firmly to terra firma while also being stressed by an opposing force that we cannot really see. Bill also welcomes your own interpretations of this dreamt sculpture’s potential meaning. Cosmic Sail grows and bends organically among the trees here.
ABOUT THE SCULPTURE
The sculpture “Cosmic Sail” formed as a concept when Bill was in an early morning, dreamlike state. He was not awake and not asleep, instead in between where things seem incongruous yet make perfect sense. This sculpture may seem like some kind of functional device, or a machine with some purpose. However, it is more about movement, music, and the elements of nature.
The thrust of the rusted Corten steel base from the ground to the sail is the visual companion to a musical crescendo, bursting into the force of wind. The wind, while being invisible, is evident. It is formed so you can feel the force of nature rooted firmly to terra firma while also being stressed by an opposing force that we cannot really see.
ABOUT THE SCULPTOR
Bill visualizes shapes. They just come to him, sometimes in dreams and sometimes inspired by things he sees in nature. It is like when a musical tune comes to your memory, or you just make one up. You can start to hum, whistle, or sing, and it makes you feel good. In a similar way, three-dimensional shapes are like a symphony for me. There’s a musical quality there, the lines flow, and there is rhythm. Look at an orchid and you’ll hear music. Pick up a sea shell and you’ll feel movement.
As a young boy, Bill was fascinated by the wild, strange, exotic plants his grandfather grew in a huge glasshouse. Bill could almost see the fluids of life pushing through the stalks and vines. He could feel the energy flowing into the shape of a new flower or leaf. At about the same time, Bill marveled at the sensual organic shapes of custom Italian and British race cars of the era. He learned to develop those shapes from stainless steel and bronze, and he started to merge two worlds.
From these influences, Bill develops abstract organic shapes that his imagination informs him is how metal might look if it were alive, growing out of the ground. Everything he creates is artificial and synthetic. He would not even attempt to reproduce nature. So, he instead celebrates the fusion of man-made and natural, living organisms from his imagination.
In this world of rapidly accelerating advances in technology such as electronics, material sciences, robotics and other fields, we have seen computers shrunken from room-sized behemoths to pocket sized tools, materials evolve from early clay and bronze to aerospace grade titanium and carbon fiber, and robots which can now build other robots and program them to perform certain functions.
With this evolution, is it not possible that in some future world, materials themselves will be able to think, evolve and even reproduce?
Bill’s sculpture captures this possibility in an abstract, organic, botanical fantasy. Not representing any life form we know, these sculptures are simply a product of his imagination. They wrestle with the question: What would metal look like if it were to grow out of the ground like a plant, a flower, or a tree? Like the stem and leaves of any plant, these sculptures are his imagination’s interpretation of what earth’s life force would look like flowing up from the ground in this future world.
What do you think metal would look like if it grew out of the ground?