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'Lifecasting'

Artist Gabbard plans art exhibit
opening at ‘A Perfect Day Cafe’

Her art shows balance
and struggle, humor and tragedy

Staff Report

(April 2009) – An opening reception for artist Leslie Gabbard is planned for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at A Perfect Day Cafe, 221 E. Walnut St. in North Vernon, Ind. The event will feature wine tasting for $5. The exhibit will be up throughout the month of April.

'Lifecasting'

Photo provided

Artist Leslie Gabbard’s ‘lifecasting”
is the art of making molds directly
from the human body in order to
produce life-size sculptures.

Gabbard was born in Detroit and now lives in North Vernon. Her work has previously been shown in the Indiana towns of Seymour, Nashville, Madison and Broadripple.
Her art expresses feelings that communicate the intensity of a particular moment in her life. It usually starts with an idea followed by the colors she feels, which are then reflected in her paintings. This approach evokes raw passion and often contains deeper layers of meaning. Her paintings are like looking into a two-way mirror; it’s not just form and color that are reflected, or what we see and recognize on the surface.
Her work shows balance and struggle, humor and tragedy, love and pain – capturing what it means to be alive.
Also on display will be some of her recent works involving the idea that when tiny sections of the human form are painted or photographed, it completely abstracts them. She leaves it up to the observer to interpret what they see.
“A limited amount of color and line tells one’s mind that the form they are seeing is human,” she says. ‘Their imagination then takes over. What people see in the abstraction says far more about them than it does about me. These pieces are intended to provoke thought, not controversy.”

Leslie Gabbard
Gabbard

This “lifeCasting” is the art of making molds directly from the human body in order to produce life-sized sculptures. A casting material is then poured into the mold. When the casting material cures, the mold is removed revealing the sculpture.
Lifecasting is more than simply taking a mold from the body. It is what the artist does with that mold – how he poses it, how he casts it, the story he tells with it that is completes the answer to what is lifecasting. In fact, when properly executed, lifecasting, like painting, dancing, playing an instrument or sculpting, it is an art form all to itself.
Gabbard said she learned to do lifecasting from local award-winning sculptor Bill Holmes. “He taught me part of the process when I was faced with the possibility of having breast cancer. Luckily, I did not, but there are five woman in my family who have had the disease, so this is a project very dear to me. My only intent for learning the process was to offer it to other woman who want it done prior to a mastectomy, or even as a tool to aid in their recovery afterwards.

• For more information, contact Gabbard at (812) 346-1018.

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