Empire of Light

“Bronze is light energy.”


Clay, bronze, and humankind as well as all the physical matter of the universe, all share the energetic, physical characteristics of light. Each work of the Empire of Light is devoted to exploring aspects of radiance in experimental metallurgy, where, every bronze presents new levels of advance for a range of techniques including extrusion, experimental mastruction, catification, centrifugal, gravity-pour, and re-combinant jeweler’s lost-wax bronze casting techniques. The works of the Empire of Light speak to the central core of humanistic perception of the universe, for it is through light across its varying wavelengths; through its presence or through its absence, that humankind has traditionally perceived the cosmos.


Angstrom rushes upwards, cutting a ray through the universe. Scientifically, a light wave consists of a hill and a valley forming an "S"; a form which shapes the skein of Angstrom’s sculptural balance. Snowden evokes the vision of a light wave measured by an angstrom; a unit of linear measurement named for the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom (1814-1874). Where the angstrom has been historically used to measure the wavelengths of visible light and other forms of electromagnetic energy, the actual unit of measurement is incredibly small, equal to .1 nanometer, which is approximately 1/250 millionth of an inch. Thus, Angstrom has been mathematically calculated by Snowden to be a sixteen trillion, two hundred and fifty million times enlargement of an angstrom – as it presently rises in bronze half-life scale. The sculpture forms a meditation on candescent phenomena existing beyond the plane of unaided human sight.


Photon halts mid-flight caught in the sudden seizure of art. Indeed, Snowden’s sculpture brings Photon into full-frame focus, where a photon is the smallest organized piece of energetic matter. It is an elementary particle; the force carrier of the electromagnetic force. Indeed, it was Einstein who observed that light is a stream of tiny energy packets called photons. Moreover, Louis De Broglie’s studies presented the duality of light that exhibits characteristics as both a wave and as a particle. The sculpture of Snowden forms around the enlargement of a single particle or Photon that imaginatively capsulates dynamic ramparts, circling spirals and curving waves through its particulate form. The figural particle-element has been built of innumerable wave-curvatures and set weld points. The design lifts upon the sculptor’s advanced invention for bronze inner-wall construction that makes Photon’s quarter-ton suspension possible.


Lightwave is the sculptor’s sweeping signature that draws an arc of light. Indeed, all of Snowden’s sculptures express the highly gestural and athletic root of the artist’s touch. In science, the smallest micro-viewpoint onto light reveals light to exhibit either a wave or particle structure. For the sculptor, the "S" Wave in particular, is an inspiring and suffusing quantity that is reflected in the shape of the human hand and in the properties of elemental molten bronze. Indeed for Snowden, curvatures of form naturally pool in molten bronze, mirroring the s-curvature of light phenomena that also are reflected in human anatomy. As sculpture, Lightwave’s central focus moves forward from optical comprehension, accessing feeling as much as tactile polished volume.


Lightsurge coils on the spring of its own energy. Lightsurge takes shape around Snowden’s intuition of a radiant wavelength that together with Lightwave, expresses the substance of light almost as a rhythmic veil or sonic cloth. Evoking a small portion of a long train of light sweeping a cosmic trajectory, Lightsurge comes into view as an enlargement of the "S" structure of light. As one critic recently observed, " Here in these works, the sculptor has achieved the inexpressible essence of light captured in an eternal bronze moment".


Lumino rises on a branched lattice of sky-reaching proportions. In this work, a specialized variant of the Fournier patina underscores the tear-drop tracery of the arch where tones of lapis, citrine, emerald, and ruby seem to be drawn out of the platinum bronze in a subtle escalation of polished color. As critic Remo Nevi observes, "In this effortless evocation, the prism of humanity’s soul crystallizes and collects in a certain kind of illumination where the rainbow is recast in a new frame of reference and contemplation."


In counterbalance, Lumina ascends to the pinnacle of the compositional arch, forming its own synergistic balance. A metallurgical accomplishment for the casting and chasing of lost wax bronze, both Lumino and Lumina share a weighed suspension calculation that treats skeins of bronze as a tapestry out of which figuration rises and binds. With minimal supporting mass, attenuation and webbing become exquisitely articulated as the bronze itself transforms away from its traditional role of fleshing form to engage in Snowden’s architectural suspensions.

Lumino and Lumina

Here in Luminae, the twin arcs of a rainbow  glide together. Airy tracery swirls in a lock knot, directing the peak of the bronze arc skyward.  In this evocation designed to be mounted on tall

pedestal pillars, a sky gateway rises aloft from tear drop veils of bronze filigree. Indeed, Luminae intuits atmosphere through lustrous figurative energy summaries that emphasize the directional surge of the celestial arc.


Halo sings harmony in triplicate. Halo is that unique sculpture that visions three feminine forms bonded in an alliance. The composition enters into an appreciation for optical light; light that not only illuminates sculpture, but that manifests the phenomenon of the Halo as it sweeps luminescence overheard through a triangular iced crystalline veil. Snowden sculpts these three feminine icons with smooth translucence, infusing them with a misted technique that sublimates their musculature into lines of harmony and reflection.


Nimbus begins to melt under the heat of light. Indeed, the bronze is a more active approach to visioning atmospheric ice crystals, where Nimbus’s sculptural planes dynamically interact with the temperature implications of reflective and refractive visible light. The design resonates thawing states brought on by transitioning temperatures that affect the structural integrity of a Nimbus. In essence, both Halo and Nimbus are macro enlargements of micro phenomenon, where the harmonic intervals of the figures echo the atmospheric harmonic suspension of ice crystals observed under varying conditions.


In a lute-like composition, Lightspire’s bronze ascends through a pillar of rays. Here, the immaterial streamlined quality of curving light rays reverberate along arched anatomical planes. Multiple rays of light conceptually rise along the line of demi-wings and echo in every part of the sculpture that has been created through the energy of the sculptor’s touch. A core meditation of Snowden invokes the realization that when viewed at a reduced quantum micro-scale, the human body as well as geological clay and bronze, all begin to exhibit the "wave and particle" structure of light. It was Louis De Broglie winner of the Nobel Prize, who delineated the wave and the particle as integrated expressions of matter. Undulation, "S" curvature, and waves are inseparable from the central feminine particle of Lightspire that seems to jettison energy aloft. Lightspire’s portrait seems enclosed in the embers of a textural crown that melds and connects in upward ascent. The energy of the sculpture promotes the illusion of wind that seems to rise beneath the almost two-hundred pound weight of the sculpture.


Luminarc swims along a river of light. Snowden’s Luminarc vertically flows clay and bronze in the form of a stream that fluidly showcases the water-like properties of light. Eddies and rivulets running within a broad flow seem to magnetically circle the composition of the sculpture, creating the work into a delta of form. Indeed, Luminarc’s conformation of a river seems to mold the bronze into an evocation of light’s pure energy. In recent experiments, light exhibits properties of water as it pools around small apertures; as light gradually filters and drops down through narrow holes like a wet substance. In Snowden’s meditation, the interrelationship of water and light to forms of human musculature and bronze, all share "S" formational attributes. Thus, Luminarc’s form sweeps along a lyric path, with its human energy summaries exhibiting curvature related to wider phenomena.


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