“Nimbus”
Bronze Photograph
 
M.L. SNOWDEN SCULPTURE
EMPIRE OF LIGHT


 

M.L. Snowden’s sculptural diptych, Halo and Nimbus, dramatically advances the sculptor’s contemplation of optical light phenomena. Here, masculine and feminine sculptural formations are inspired by the delicacy of crystal prisms that reflect and refract light into scarves and webs of radiance. In the sculptor’s visual language, where Lumino and Lumina describe liquid water drops of the rainbow, Halo and Nimbus call forth atmospheric ice crystals that bloom skyward around sources of light. In fanning compositions that interact as reflections of one another, both Halo and Nimbus rise as crowns of refracted light that are born of the radiant energies communicated by bronze casting processes and M.L. Snowden’s unique sculptural touch.


Halo, in particular, is that rare sculpture in The Geological Coreium that exists without counterpart in its particular scale and slender visioning of three feminine forms.“Halo is lithe and serene,” reflects international critic, Remo Nevi. “Pure delight and harmony fuse these three elegant and cosmic evocations into a strong alliance. In this work, Snowden balances joyful figuration into a prism of grace. Through the sheer elan of Snowden’s artistry, Halo carries us into a special realm of appreciation for optical light; light that not only illuminates sculpture, but that celebrates the phenomena of the halo as it sweeps luminescence overhead through a veil. Snowden sculpts these three figures with a smooth translucence, infusing them with a misted technique that sublimates their musculature into lines of form and harmony, much like a crystalline net that gently floats on air.”


Nevi further reflects that “Nimbus presents a more active approach to visioning atmospheric ice crystals. Here is sculpture whose surfaces dynamically interact with visible light in streaming reflection and refraction. Particularly in Nimbus, Snowden’s sculptural hand is deftly felt in every nuance and harmonious detail that contributes to the wonderful sense of connection existing between the three figural elements of the design. A smooth pond of cloud-light appears to silver and hover over the features of Nimbus as well as Halo, inviting us to contemplate the idea that the very prismatic structures that support the atmospheric phenomena of the halo and nimbus are embodied in these triangulated sculptural compositions. As we contemplate the crystal structure of Snowden’s silicon bronze and Fournier patina, we can perhaps gain a measure of insight into our own perception of how these sculptures seem to be wonderfully candescent with special properties that reflect and refract light. On a profound level, from the Halo to the Nimbus; from the bronzes to the atmospheric phenomena they speak of; disparate elements of atmospheric science and sculpture take on new meaning, becoming unified and enlarged in the life-affirming silver aura these sculptures project.”


From important roots in the Paris studios of Rodin and Antonin Mercié, Snowden brings to Halo and Nimbus a specialized lustrous variant of the Fournier patina and the touch of the historic Rodin tools.


Text: Di Sulio