by Tad Richards
Fay Wood, a Saugerties resident of over three decades, works in a number of media, all of which are on display at her studio and can be found on her website. She works in found object sculpture, oil painting, collage, drawings, and tapestries.
Found sculpture in wood is her primary medium. Working with found objects, which she is drawn to because they “have a certain aesthetic value due to their textural and color qualities, social meaning or history that add dimension to the work,” has led her, over time, to incorporate an ever-widening variety of materials into her sculpture, including metal and rag paper over wood and metal armatures. She creates free standing and wall-hung sculpture, large pieces and small, figurative and abstract and somewhere in between.
Part of her love of found objects comes from the surmounting of catastrophe. In 1985 her loft in New Haven, Connecticut, was torn apart by a hurricane, and a lifetime of work was scattered all over the city, becoming found object for others in a rampaging instant. She remembers, “I think I may have been so angry and hurt at the loss I was determined to do better work than ever. which helped to develop an attitude towards work habits and thinking that I use to this day.”
She found a new home and studio in an old church in Saugerties, and began the process of building a life of work all over again, in found object sculpture and in drawing, her second passion—drawing in pencil and colored pencil, pen and ink. And painting in oil, including an ancient and unusual technique called reverse oil painting on glass, which she learned from her mother, who restored damaged antique paintings.
Another move, to a new home and studio in Saugerties, was a source of frustration which Fay would turn, once again, to a new source of inspiration: “I was having a difficult time getting used to the drawing area.......after a long year or more of frustration, I said ‘the hell with it’ and having a large collection of materials, I decided to try my hand at collage. They have turned out to be heavily textural, as I've added found objects to the mix, and for the first time have added vintage plastics, which will yellow more as they age, but I try to use that in the design.”
Fay Wood has won awards, including the Proskauer prize for Non-Traditional Sculpture from the National Sculpture Society. She has exhibited all over the world, in the US and Canada, in Florence, Italy, and Berlin, Germany. She has taught, and she has been featured in a PBS special.
Fay Wood’s website is faywoodstudio.com. Her Saugerties studio, staffed by herself and Kaleb, her furry four-legged studio manager, welcomes visitors by appointment. Contact her at email@example.com, or by phone 845-246-7504.