Twelve Months Time: Dwarf Nandina

About Beverly Penn

Beverly Penn creates sculptures from an unlikely source: weeds that she collects from the roadsides, gardens, and fields of the Texas hill country. Her cast-bronze sculptures are created by centrifugal casting, a process used in the jewelry and dental industries for its ability to capture tiny details. In her process, plants are burned out in a kiln and molten bronze is made to fill the negative space left behind as the molds are spun around an axle, forcing the bronze into every last crevice. The finished works transform swirls of thistles and other undesirable plants into lush metallic gardens, which the artist builds on the wall in 3-D compositions that can span up to nine feet across. The works highlight what Penn calls the “intersection of nature and culture and the fluid boundaries between them—at odds and in synthesis,” and mankind’s desire to control the natural world through art and science.

American, b. 1955, based in San Marcos, Texas