Deb Vandenbroucke

I am a sculptor who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Recently, I have been carving stone. Most of my work has been created on a commissioned basis. I guess I never got over my first carving assignment: “Make something that feels good.” That was in a sculpture class in 1976 that I took because I needed a Humanities credit. Since then, after years of working in many different materials, carving stone always feels like coming home again.
I have been asked the “what is it” question more times than I have been asked my own name. I have struggled with the answers in various ways including throwing myself into an intensely conceptual graduate school program. In the end the answer is as simple and as complicated as living in our bodies and having emotions.
In my pieces I combine shell, human, and plant forms to create sensual anthropomorphic objects. The work has a strong presence and carries a lifelike quality that looks like it is (or has once been) alive. Perhaps you get the feeling that you just missed seeing it move the moment you turn your head. Viewers often want to touch the work to follow its curves, relating to it physically as well as visually. If you have looked at a sculpture and feel you want to hug it, or something, or someone then I consider the work a complete success.

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