Lin Emery



New Orleans artist Lin Emery seeks to capture the energy inherent in nature in her kinetic sculpture. Not only does her iconography rely on natural shapes, but it is the forces of nature such as wind or water that set her sculptures in motion. Movement, or kinetic activity, whose aim is to express harmonic patterns visually, is the central element for Emery. The highly polished surfaces of her welded aluminum sculptures invite a dialogue between the industrial character of their construction and the organic connotations that the works evoke.

Although her sculptural forms are abstracted from nature, her work has always had a relationship to modern science and mathematics and chaos theory, which deals with the elements of predictability and unpredictability. Referring to these ideas, the English critic, Edward Lucie-Smith wrote "The motions made by her wind-powered sculptures are similarly unpredictable, within a given set of rules, in this case, being the actual form of the piece and how many moving elements it possesses. The constantly changing relationships of the different parts have an almost hypnotic effect, constantly teasing the eye, which can never quite guess what the next configuration will be... As one looks at them, the sculptures take on the qualities of living, growing, natural things." Emery begins each of her large-scale public sculptures with a scaled-down model. Rather than employing industrial fabricators to execute the final sculpture, she insists on hands-on-control of every stage of the process, working with her own crew. Her sculptures employ a new system of bearing assemblies that she developed in order to manipulate the elements so that they move freely and randomly in space.

In 1996 Lin Emery had an acclaimed comprehensive retrospective exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 1997 her 10 meter kinetic sculpture commissioned for the Osaka Dome, Japan, was awarded the Osaka Grand Prize for Public Sculpture. Her work is in many major public and corporate collections in the United States, as well as the Far East and Europe.