This week on Inside The Warehouse, artist Bill Reid tells us about the importance of art and nature throughout his life, as well as the inspiration behind his series of Dodo sculptures. Reid's piece, "Dodo in a Darker Bush" was on display in the lobby of The Warehouse as a part of the On the Nature of Wisconsin exhibition.
Bill Reid, "2020 Dodo Vision." (2020) mixed media
“I was actually born in Buffalo NY and then lived in Ohio until 8th grade. My parents instilled an interest in nature, mom loved birds and was a great watercolor painter. Dad was a lawyer but never liked it and retired early and became a bird carver. Growing up where we were in Ohio was great because there was this big wild forest in our backyard where I could go after school and explore and mess about in. We moved to Racine in the summer of 1968 just in time for the riots and all the other things going on. I first became interested in art at The Prairie School where we could do lost wax casting in aluminum. The aspect of working with my hands and the fire involved entranced me. After going to Lawrence University in Appleton for a year and then their London program, I decided I wanted to go to art school and was lucky enough to go to Kansas City Art Institute for BFA and then Cranbrook Academy of Art for MFA. I did a lot of work there, maybe some of it okay. There were aspects back then of what I do now, but I think that I developed the kind of language I have now with the animals about 15 years after I was out of art school.
The dodo is kind of a poster child for extinction and I hope it will be the first animal to be cloned if they, whoever they are, are able to do it. I had made a few smaller dodos and recently have been making some more. This big one was made in 2007 partly for a show I had at RAM in Racine. The idea was to make it have a big presence but not imposing. It is holding the opposite of a lighter - a darker. It is in a bush of darkness but does not seem to mind.”
Bill Reid with his piece, "Dodo in a Darker Bush," during the install of the On the Nature of Wisconsin exhibition
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