Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Artist’s Pipe Dreams Replicate Nature’s Patterns
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Gallery Owner Tim Mitchell shows off one of D’Arcy Bellamy’s spiral sculptures.
 
Friday, March 8, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Some would call them metal sculptures.

D’Arcy Bellamy calls them his “Pipe Dreams.”

Bellamy has created 4- to 8-foot-tall sculptures from steel pipes that are beautiful, sometimes whimsical, and often springy to the touch.

 
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This wall hanging features bubbles and flower shapes.
 

Some of his work can be seen in the Mitchell Contemporary Gallery, a new gallery at 100 Sun Valley Road across from Starbucks on Sun Valley Road.

Bellamy, who lives in Boise, began his odyssey 16 years ago when he enrolled in a welding class in Texas to take his mind off his sister’s death. Drawn to working with old metal pipes that were ubiquitous to the area, he began cutting away and, after the sparks had flown, found himself holding pieces of art.

“I’m drawn to the strength of metal and its ability to hold curved linear shapes,” says Bellamy, who hopes to be present for tonight’s Gallery Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. “I enjoy the process of getting dirty and manipulating a material that should not be malleable. And I like that I’m recycling a utilitarian, unromantic extremely practical material that has been largely overlooked by other artists.”

Bellamy creates his sculptures via a unique method. Whereas most metal sculptors create sculptures by welding one element on another, he subtracts from his fabrications.

 
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D’Arcy Bellamy sometimes adds splashes of color to his work, as he did with this sculpture.
 

He uses a plasma cutter to remove material from the pipe until the work reveals itself.

He then grinds and polishes the work. Sometimes he adds color and glosses. Other times he allows the work to rust or patina naturally.

Over time, many of his works have evolved to reflect Zen principals and Wabi-Sabi, which he notes is sometimes described as a beauty that’s imperfect or incomplete.

Bellamy’s sculptures invite viewers to touch them. Some even spring around when touched. They also create dramatic shadows in the presence of light.

 
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Be sure and touch this one and watch it go bo-i-i-n-g.
 

“The shape and imagery of his sculptures resonate with people, in part because he patterns his sculptures after shapes found in nature,” says Mitchell, who had a gallery in Aspen before opening one here.

Indeed, Bellamy’s works often reflect patterns that occur in nature, such as branches, riverine-like patterns, flowers and bubbles.

Many of his works invoke a spiral which, he notes, is one of humankind’s oldest symbols. It’s seen in seashells, whirlpools, tornados, galaxies and even human DNA.

“For me the spiral suggests movement, evolution, possibility, dynamic change and tension,” he says. “Because it occurs in the natural world, within the human body and all that surrounds us, as a symbol the spiral has great resonance and powerful psychological impact.”

 
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This is a mere fragment of one of D’Arcy Bellamy’s sculptures.
 

Some of Bellamy’s sculptures are meant to hang on the wall. Others are meant to be planted in the grass, creating interesting shadows in the sunlight or different patterns when covered in winter by an inch of snow.

Some sculptures represent people walking, wind blowing through their hair. Others evoke a butterfly, a vase of pink blossoms, a tiger about to leap, a fish ducking under water, even a donkey. A sculpture displaying branches of a tree show splashes of pink flowers.

His geometrics sculptures, in turn, feature rectangles and cellular patterns.

“His art is a very modern unique medium—edgy and kinetic,” says Mitchell. “I’m always looking for something unique that will appeal to the larger audience yet have a modern feel. I have found no one else out there doing what D’Arcy’s doing.”

 

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