Now that I am in the Venus of Willendorf stage of my life, my interest in the human figure has been rekindled. I have come to a new appreciation of the beauty of the human form. As a result, I have been integrating even more of human figure into my visual vocabulary. My goal is not a literal portrayal of the nude but an conceptual, symbolic archetype. The figures are heroically perfected. I create the idealized figurative form that all of us aspire to but rarely possess. Although stylized, they possess a high degree of realism. They are sculpted in the form of wall reliefs, small free standing sculptures and medallions. Through my sculpture, I hope to express my feelings about the human condition as well as my feelings about the infinite levels of male/female interaction and the environment that surrounds them - earthly, celestial or aquatic.
The boundaries between fantasy, reality and surreality are not necessarily firm. I love to explore and manipulate these amorphous boundaries. For years I have created fantastic winged, feathered and finned creatures in both two and three dimensions. My creatures are seldom purely realistic. They are whimsical, anthropomorphic and capricious. They fly, swim or otherwise waft through their environments. They are inspired by my lifelong fascination with the beauty of natural forms - clouds, shells, stones, branches, wings and the fanciful imagery from classical Greek and Roman mythology.
The sculptural elements of clouds, shells, wings, and fragments of human form (faces, heads, hands, eyes and torsos) have always captured my imagination. I find that fragments can be more powerfully evocative than the whole from which they are extracted. I enjoy arranging fragments symbolically. The arrangements are intended to evoke the fascinating complexity of human relationships and interactions by means of their positioning. Since all the elements of my work are all designed separately, at times they are presented on their own as miniature sculptures. It is my intention that my individual works as well as the arrangement of my multiples contain depth, meaning and relevance in the twenty first century.
THE BRONZE PROCESS
Bronze, prized for centuries as a sculptural medium has a warmth, vitality and life of its own. Being an alloy of copper, tin and sometimes zinc or lead, it seems to have an intrinsic value and worth as a result of its luster, weight and durability. It is the preferred medium for small sculpture that is intended to be picked up, handled and admired from many viewpoints. It is also the preferred medium for large monumental sculpture throughout the ages due to its beauty and exterior durability. The process used to create bronze sculpture is extremely labor intensive and has remained much the same for centuries, from classical times until the present.
Since a field trip to a foundry in college sculpture class, Lindley has long been fascinated with the aura and mystique of bronze. Two trips to Italy and one to Greece further kindled this fascination. Seeing sculptures in museums that had survived since Greek and Roman times was truly astounding. What she found particularly interesting was the strength and power of even a mere fragment of an ancient bronze classical sculpture.
The original of each of Lindley’s bronze sculptures is created in her Newburyport, MA studio in either plaster, clay, hand-built Apoxie ® or combinations of all three. A rubber mold is made of each piece. Lindley makes several casts or “proofs” of each sculpture in bonded marble, bonded bronze, bonded gypsum or resin. The mold is then delivered to one of three foundries, depending on their specialty. As her sculptures get larger, Lindley plans to show more of these proofs in alternate materials as means of obtaining bronze commissions or as larger mixed media sculptures in and of themselves. For centuries sculptors have cast their work in plaster proofs as a means of obtaining bronze commissions. The newer stronger architectural mediums are more appropriate and dependable for Lindley's sculpture all with it's tiny delicate details.
At the New England Sculpture Service, a Fine Art foundry in Chelsea, MA, wax is poured into the mold. Lindley goes into the foundry to inspect, approve, and sign each wax replica. The wax replica is coated with many layers of ceramic, called a “ceramic shell”. The wax is melted out of the ceramic shell. Molten bronze is then hand poured into the ceramic shell by skilled metal craftsman using this ancient “cire perdue” or lost-wax method. After the metal casts are chased, refined and sandblasted at the foundry, Lindley goes in again to oversee and direct the patination process. In this process, the work is repeatedly glazed with coats of chemicals under the heat of a torch to enhance the sculptural interest of the surface of each sculpture.
When she first started casting in bronze at New England Sculpture Service, Lindley cast in limited editions of 30. She soon discovered that it was unlikely that she would ever want to cast 30 of any one piece. Her next bronzes were cast in limited editions of 18. Recently she has cast her sculptures in a series of three “artist’s proofs”. When all three of the proofs sell, she may then decide to cast a limited edition. If an edition is cast, it will be limited to 12 at the most.
Some of the smaller bronzes, 3” and under, are cast in another foundry, The Walter Allen Foundry in Boxford, MA., in small open editions. They too are cast using the ancient “cire perdue” or lost-wax method. Lindley worked at this foundry when she started casting in bronze, making molds and cleaning waxes in exchange for her first bronze casts.
Several of the sculptures, the wall reliefs and bases are sand cast in yet another different foundry, The Mystic Valley Foundry in Somerville, MA. This foundry employs a technique that does not require a rubber mold but an extremely strong sculptural original that is is specifically designed within the limitations and specifications of the sand casting process. A one - time mold is made from a special foundry sand packed around the original sculpture. This mold is enclosed in a steel frame (flask) the two halves of which fit accurately and closely. Molten bronze is poured into the sand mold through a series of “sprues” or gates. After the sculpture is cast in bronze at this foundry, Jeff and Lindley do the sanding, grinding and refining of each piece, called “chasing”. It is then carefully sandblasted to clean off the fire scale and to blend in the areas that have been chased. Lindley next puts a cold chemical patina on each piece using a variety of glazes to enhance the sculptural interest of the surface of each sculpture. Recently she has been experimenting with chemical glazes to achieve an ancient, antique, “unearthed” effect. She has discovered she can achieve a rich warm mahogany brown patina by immersing some of her bronzes in a bath of red wine for two or three weeks. The acids and tannins in the wine actually have a chemical reaction with the bronze, are permanent and do not wash off. At this foundry, whenever a sculpture is 6” or more, Lindley casts up to 4 artist’s proofs before casting editions of 18. Sculptures under 6" are cast in small open editions.