Holly branch, cherry
“I have always worked with the human figure. It is very satisfying to be able to express feeling through subtle body language and the posture of the human form. I like figures that are stylized, somewhat abstract and flowing. I like to express impermanence in the figure as well as something more lasting in the spiritual sense, so my works are typically void of faces. Many of my figures are dancers that capture a glow, a curiosity, or love of life. I feel that we are all artists and like the birds, we sing a song or we dance. We share our gifts and then we move on to the next world. I like using holly wood for figurative works because it is so white and the grain is very consistent. I am looking for limbs that require very little manipulation – which often leads to odd and gently proportioned figures – a parallel of our human imperfections. This tree was an ornamental holly that was routinely trimmed and it made for interesting limb shapes for these figures. The two limbs in this piece grew very much like you see them – almost as if they found comfort in their closeness.” Bradley Sells has a BA degree in psychology with minors in art, biology and geology from Tennessee Tech University. He has been a full time wood sculptor at Bark Studio in Cookeville, TN since 1999. His work is represented in museums, public installations and private collections across the nation. Sells and his artistic process have been featured in two PBS documentaries.