Yvonne Bobo is an artist / sculptor based in Memphis, Tennessee
The intricate geometries and cycles of nature can be seen as corollaries to our own lives and processes. The unmediated, constantly evolving world we might normally overlook can suggest our own personal struggles of creation, destruction, survival, mutation, dormancy and, ultimately, transformation.
The inspiration usually starts with some inner resonance to these common tableaus:
I find a maple seed, and carry it with me until I crush it in my pocket. I work to recreate the magic of the maple seed’s one winged flight, tiny helicopters floating in the spring air. Honestly, I want to capture that first delight of discovery when I was a child playing in the yard. Engineering magic with the rudimentary tools in my shop requires great ingenuity and stubbornness. Revelation occurs.
Materials and methods are incidental, but I've found that my reverence and awe for nature and the secrets she reveals is inescapable.
Yvonne began her career by assisting other artists on public projects around Memphis, but soon began applying for her own grants, which resulted in some of her first commissions as lead artist. Early public art projects include the Raymond Skinner Center and Peabody Park, followed by The Cancer Survivor Park, Brewster Elementary, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and others.
Yvonne’s art focuses on the interaction between invention and nature. Her wind activated art captures the playful character of the wind, and creates a constantly changing experience for the viewer. Although metal is her primary medium, mixed media is her true love, combining glass, Yvonne Bobo
steel, wood, and fabrics. She is designer, engineer and fabricator.
The artist’s formal education consists of a B.A. in Art History from Boston University, but even more telling in her work is the extensive travel and apprenticeships in various craftsman trades, learning ancient methods of carving, cabinetry and water-gilding in locales as exotic as Syria, the Azores or Vienna.
In her most recent work, Yvonne has really captured her personality and varied skill set. "Gyroscopic", "Mobius", "Spiral Rising", "Murmuration", "Rhapsody", and "Kaleidoscope" are grand endeavors with dynamic, sometimes unconventional and hard to grasp designs. Mixing elements of texture, movement, patina, with thoughtful colors, shapes, materials makes each commission a personal, unique display. She now has sculptures nationally, with installations in Cleveland, Boston, and Knoxville with future sites from California to Florida.