Barbara De Pirro
Nature, in its vast brilliance, is the original source and impetus for all De Pirro’s recent work. She creates biomorphic sculptural forms and installations, both interior and exterior, including temporary works in nature. Working with a range of materials, natural and synthetic, she manipulates both in unexpected ways. Through her art she hopes to evoke questions about humankind’s relationship with nature. De Pirro’s 2011 outdoor installations ‘forest weavings’ utilize invasive plant species, such as ivy vine and scotch broom. Removing it from the forest, she weaves it into nests, a symbol of shelter and protection. Once each sculpture is dried, they are then tucked safely back into the trees. Bringing into light the fact that invasive, plant species have contributed to a huge decline in the diversity of our indigenous plants, endangering our native species.
In her 2010 installations, ‘roots & vines’, an invasive synthetic material was used, plastic bags. Using the reclaimed bags in their raw state, they are cut into strips then crocheted into form. This deliberate juxtaposition between organic form and synthetic material is an effort to change attitudes towards waste and the problems which arise from it.
De Pirro’s studio work has been deeply influenced by her installations. Her current sculptures are crocheted fiber encapsulated in acrylic. She has developed methods that strengthen and stabilize the fiber, constructing the structure and then creating surfaces mimicking those found in nature. Although the fiber is completely encapsulated, a pebbly texture reads through revealing the underlying sensuality of the crocheted fiber form. Through this process the work takes on the appearance of stone, concrete or ceramic.
De Pirro’s work has been commissioned and exhibited both nationally and internationally, is also included in many private and corporate collections. She has completed numerous public art commissions, both interior and exterior, including Tacoma Art Museum, SpaceWorks Tacoma, Port Angeles Fine Art Center, Museum of Glass, Matzke Sculpture Park and CoCA Seattle. Additionally her artwork and techniques have been published in multiple articles, publications and books.