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Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Unveils ‘Andrew Fullwood: Allurement Exhibition’ Friday, Dec. 5

By Jacquelyn Lavalle

Dec. 4, 2014. From Dec. 5 through March 21, 2015, the Turchin Center for the Visual ARts will be home to artist Andrew Fullwood’s latest exhibit. Located in the Mayer Gallery’s West Wing, the Andrew Fullwood: Allurement Exhibition will feature 15 enchanting pieces. The exhibit will be open during the Turchin Center’s regular hours of operation. Admission is free.

Screen%20Shot%202014-04-18%20at%201.53.18%20PMAndrew Fullwood, of Chapel Hill, was born into a long time of master carvers. Originally from Hickory, Fullwood’s family boasts five generations of skilled furniture craftsmen. However, Fullwood’s innate interest in nature originally led him in a different direction.

Earning a degree in biology from UNC-Chapel Hill, he chose to pursue a career as a physician. Fullwood’s interest in art and wood, a material he describes as having “a living texture,” eventually manifested itself through his sculptures. Both a full-time physician and artist, Fullwood makes time for his art during nights and weekends, as sculpting is his true passion.

“Andrew Fullwood is patient, aware, careful. Perhaps these are characteristics hewn over many years of clinical listening to his patients as they slowly unwind their tortured stories, revealing the knots and sinew of their inner psyches,” said Mary Anne Redding, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts curator.

“Perhaps they come to him more naturally, seeped into his DNA as the heir – apparent to five generations of furniture makers. Probably it is a combination of both inherited and learned skills that give Fullwood the patience ┬áto spend hundreds of hours on each of his sculptures. He reveals in wood the terror and beauty of so many of the stories he has heard at the same time unraveling his own inner demons and desires.”

Fullwood enjoys the challenge of creating a new physical form from each piece of raw material. Self taught, he has been honing his artistic skills for several years. For this unique artist, great possibilities arise while working with wood. The natural diversity of the material means that no two creations are alike. The varying colors, grains and properties of each species cause Fullwood to continually adapt his execution. Because of this, he never stops innovating.

“With my sculpture, I want to generate curiosity and allurement,” Fullwood said in a statement. “I like there to be an element of surprise.”

The creative process begins with the harvesting of a promising log. Once selected, the material’s original shape is transformed by the use of chainsaws, chisels, rasps and files. This meticulus process can take hundreds of hours to complete.

The elements of life and its various “cycles” are recurring themes expressed in Fullwood’s work. Curious about the shapes that make up the “rhythms” and specific moments within nature’s cycles, a pregnant woman or seedpods are often forms used to convey these ideas. Organic, ancestral and cultural curiosities are also integrated into his sculptures. The exploration of both abstract and realistic human form, often both fused together, has generated a style Fullwood calls “organic surrealism.” Challenged by opposing imagery and tensions. this artist is on a constant journey for harmony within his work.

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