Artist Ben Butler builds large-scale sculptures by assembling hundreds of pieces of wood together into odd formations. With no exact plan in mind, Butler carefully stacks the sections of aspen or cedar together one-by-one, letting the wood and the balance of each piece determine where the next piece will be placed. As the sculpture grows, the final product eventually begins to mimic natural formations like the layers of the earth or the cross-section of a canyon.
Butler meticulously and precisely constructs the flowing curves and lines that result in the uniquely organic shapes. His sculptures are textured and complex, and, by alternating thickness and color, the slight variations of wood add to the tactile nature of the pieces.
One reviewer states, “An acute exploration of what distinguishes man-made structures and objects from all others has, for Butler, revealed a paradox that describes the natural world–a world where simple and strict systems generate remarkably complex and unpredictable forms.”