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My sculptures and works on paper are inspired by basic human needs: food, shelter, clothing, love, and consciousness. I model, cast, draw, and print by combining organic materials such as plants, paper, clay, and fabric, with plaster, concrete, metal, and resin. The intersection of the natural world and the human-made world drives my work.
In my current series, Supports, drawings and sculptures meld architectural details with human anatomy and expression – visual poems of structure and life. Forms are precariously stacked, evoking different meanings of “support:” balance, endurance, spirit, bearing weight, holding together, and falling apart.
Diverse influences come from literature, psychology, mythology – and in the visual arts, range from the body/spirit experience of medieval architecture to the theatrical narratives of William Kentridge.
Public projects have been specific responses to architecture, history, and landscape. Commissions include Wave Hill, New York; International Sculpture Festa, Seoul; Tufts University, Boston; Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal; Housing Vermont and Burlington City Arts, Vermont; and Pinellas County Cultural Affairs, Tampa Public Art Program, and Broward Public Art Program in Florida.
Born in Montreal, grew up in Vermont, I earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont, an M.F.A. from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, and attended the Central School of Art and Design in London. I live in Winooski, Vermont.
“Stone sprites, nymphs and sphinxes populate the otherworldly garden that sculptor Leslie Fry created, drawing on fairy tales, mythology and ruins for her pieces.”
“These dream-like, even fanciful, forms are quirky, individual, and surprisingly moving. Whether human beings clear a path through nature or merge with it, the artifacts of Fry’s buildings seem to be part of an irrepressible natural order. Demolition becomes construction.”
Anne Barclay Morgan
“These fantastical sylvan hybrids – the seed of an oak, the seat of the mind – point to the inextricable ties between human consciousness and the natural world.”
Julie K. Hanus
“More than Human”
American Craft Magazine
“Leslie Fry makes much of nature’s bounty. Ms. Fry has produced a group of wonderfully wacky architectural mini structures that appear to be made of real fruit and vegetables . . .”
“Silo Meets Satellite Dish in the New New England”
“The look of Fry’s reliefs perhaps takes some inspiration from medieval cathedral reliefs. After viewing images of those at Orvieto Cathedral in Italy, I was struck by the comparison of gothic reliefs of angels, trees, and human beings, all imbued with a spiritual life. The reliefs serve a dual purpose, both narrative and symbolic. Moreover, Fry’s constructions give the effect of old stone in the rubbed whites and dark grays.”
“Accumulated Mysteries: Leslie Fry”
Art New England
“And Leslie Fry’s Lips Speaking Together (see inside front cover) is both a beautiful celebration of the female body and a quirky affirmation of female solidarity and camaraderie.”
“Empty Dress, Loaded Images”
“Leslie Fry, for example, creates delicate, highly charged objects that explore the boundaries between interior and exterior, male and female, clothing and skin. Like a poet who recombines familiar words to describe experience in completely new ways, Fry uses familiar clothing forms, fabrics, and references to the body to create previously unimagined hybrids. Her small, diaphanous forms meld internal organs and external anatomy, clothing forms and body parts, and male and female anatomies. By transgressing boundaries that most of us experience as immutable, Fry invites the viewer to consider the body anew. Her works are at once challenging and funny, vulnerable and defiant.”
Janie Cohen, Director
From the exhibition catalog for Disembodied
Fleming Museum, Burlington, Vermont
“It’s springtime, and Leslie Fry’s garden is abloom – with human-like sculptures that, artistically speaking, have one foot in the botanical world and another in ancient architecture. Or medieval culture, or the animal kingdom. It’s an eclectic mix, part fantasy and part metaphor. Fry’s works create a sort of mythical surrealism, where human-looking skin, bone and sinew meld with leaves, roots, tree limbs and animal features. The combined effect bridges the gap between the human and natural worlds, between physical and psychological landscapes.”
Seven Days, Burlington, Vermont